Numbers 21: 4-9 


And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the 

And the people spake 
against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of 
Egyptto die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there 
any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

And the Lord sent fiery serpents 
among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of 
Israel died.

Therefore the people 
came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the
Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Make 
thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that 
every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

And Moses made a 
serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a 
serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

As we look at the story presented here 
before us, we see that God has delivered his people out of Egypt, parted the 
red sea, provided them food and water and yet the Children of Israel still 
complained so God sent snakes that bit the people and God told Moses to make a 
snake and put it upon a pole and if the people would look on that snake, they 
would be healed.

There is another story in the New Testament and we see in the 
fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the Messiah who was nailed to a cross and who 
took on himself the sins of all humanity so that whoever would call upon the 
name of the Lord would be saved.

JOHN 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his 
Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might
be saved.


Prophecies Fulfilled in One Person:

1. Betrayed by a 
friend. (Psalms 41:9; Matthew 26:49).

2. Thirty pieces of silver 
11:12; Matthew 26:15).

3. Betrayal money cast to 
the floor of the temple (Zechariah 
11:13; Matthew 27:5).

4. Betrayal money used to 
buy the potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13: Matthew 27:7).

5. Forsaken and deserted by 
his disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Mark 

6. Accused by false 
witnesses (Psalms 35:11; Matthew 26:59-60).

7. Silent before His 
accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12).

8. Wounded and bruised 
(Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:26).

9. Hated without a cause 
(Psalm 69:4; John 

10. Struck and spat upon 
(Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67).

11. Mocked, ridiculed and 
rejected (Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 27:27-31 and John 7:5, 48).

12. Collapse from weakness 
(Psalms 109:24-25; Luke 

13. Taunted with specific 
words (Psalms 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39-43).

14. People will shake their 
heads at Him (Psalms 109:25; Matthew 27:39).

15. People will stare at Him 
22:17; Luke 23:35).

16. Executed among “sinners” 
(Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38).

17. Hands and feet will be 
pierced (Psalms 
22:16; Luke 23:33).

18. Will pray for his 
persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 

19. Friends and family will 
stand afar off and watch (Psalms 38:11; Luke 

20. Garments will be divided 
and won by the casting of lots (Psalms 22:18; John 19:23-24).

21. Will thirst (Psalms 
69:21; John 

22. Will be given gall and 
vinegar (Psalms 69:21; Matthew 27:34).

23. Will commit Himself to 
God (Psalms 31:5; Luke 

24. Bones will be left 
unbroken (Psalms 34:20; John 

25. Heart will rupture 
22:14; John 19:34).

26. Side will be pierced 
12:10; John 19:34).

27. Darkness will come over 
the land at 
midday (Amos 8:9; Matthew 27:45).

28. Will be buried in a rich 
man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).

29. Will die 438 years after 
the declaration of Artaxerxes to rebuild the temple in 444 BC (Daniel 

30. Will be raised from the 
dead (Psalms 
16:10; Acts 2:31), ascend to heaven 
(Psalms 68:18; Acts 1:9) and be seated the right hand of God in full majesty 
and authority (Psalms 110:1; Hebrews 1:3).

Peter W. Stoner who authored “Science Speaks” stated that the probability of 
just eight particular prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 1 in 1017,i.e. 
1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000). The eight prophecies used in the 
calculation were:

1. Messiah is to be 
born in 
Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; 
fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 
7:42; Luke 2:47).

2. Messiah is to be 
preceded by a Messenger (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; fulfilled in Matthew 3:1-3; 
11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17).

3. Messiah is to 
Jerusalem on a donkey 
(Zechariah 9:9; fulfilled in Luke 35-37; Matthew 21:6-11).

4. Messiah is to be 
betrayed by a friend (Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14; fulfilled in Matthew 10:4; 
26:49-50; John 

5. Messiah is to be 
sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 
11:12; fulfilled in Matthew 
26:15; 27:3).

6. The money for 
which Messiah is sold is to be thrown “to the potter” in God’s house (Zechariah 
11:13; fulfilled in Matthew 27:5-7).

7. Messiah is to be 
silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; fulfilled in Matthew 27:12).

8. Messiah is to be 
executed by crucifixion as a thief (Psalm 
22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 53:5,12; 
fulfilled in Luke 
23:33; John 20:25; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27,28).

statement was validated by the American Scientific Affiliation. This 
number has been illustrated as follows:

If we take 1 X 1017 silver dollars and lay 
them on the face of 
Texas, they'll cover all of 
the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the 
whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he 
can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say 
that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one?

Professor Stoner went on to consider 48 prophecies and says, 
“… We find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 

“This is a really large number and it represents an 
extremely small chance. Let us try to visualize it. The silver dollar, which we 
have been using, is entirely too large. We must select a smaller object. The 
electron is about as small an object as we know of. It is so small that it will 
take 2.5 times 1015of them laid side by side to make a line, single 
file, one inch long. If we were going to count the electrons in this line one 
inch long, and counted 250 each minute, and if we counted day and night, it 
would take us 19,000,000 years to count just the one-inch line of electrons. If 
we had a cubic inch of these electrons and we tried to count them it would take 
us, counting steadily 250 each minute, 19,000,000 times 19,000,000 times 
19,000,000 [nineteen million times nineteen million times nineteen million] or 
6.9 times 1021 years.

This is approximately the total number of electrons 
in all the mass of the known universe
. In other words the 
probability of Jesus Christ fulfilling 48 prophecies is the same as one person 
being able to pick out one electron out of the entire mass of our universe.

is the chance of any one man fulfilling any 48 prophecies. Yet Jesus Christ 
fulfilled not just 48 prophecies, not just 61 prophecies, but more than 
324 individual prophecies
 that the Prophets wrote concerning the 
Messiah. I haven’t been able to find the statistical projection 
representing the possibility of Jesus Christ fulfilling 324 prophecies but I 
really don’t think it matters given the illustrations set forth above.

it really take faith to come to salvation through Jesus Christ? Absolutely 
but that faith is not a blind faith as some would want you to believe but 
instead, it is a faith based upon facts. How much faith? Maybe 
not very much if one really takes the time to look at the facts and take into 
consideration the statistics and probability of the prophecies concerning the 

someone tries to tell you that Christianity is a religious faith based upon 
ignorant acceptance of certain precepts that have no basis in fact, they are 
sadly mistaken. Christianity only makes sense. It is a 
faith that not only can be an emotional faith (which it is), it is also an 
intellectual faith.

the odds, I wouldn’t bet against it. Would you?


CORNELIUS TACITUS (55 - 120 A.D.) Tacitus was a 1st and 
2nd century Roman historian who lived through the reigns of over half a dozen 

Roman emperors. Considered one of the greatest historians of ancient 
Rome, Tacitus verifies
the Biblical account of Jesus' execution at the 

hands of Pontius Pilate who governed 
Judea from 26-36 A.D. 
during the reign of Tiberius.

"Christus, the founder of the [Christian] name, was 
put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of 
Judea in the reign of 
Tiberius. But the 

pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only 
Judea, where the mischief originated, by 
through the city of 

Rome also." Annals XV, 44

this passage reveals and how it confirms the Biblical account:

· &... 
Jesus did exist

· &... 
Jesus was the founder of Christianity

· &... 
Jesus was put to death by Pilate

· &... 
Christianity originated in Judea (With Jesus)

· &... 
Christianity later spread to Rome (Through the 
Apostles and Evangelists)

Could Tacitus have taken his information from Christian sources?

Answer: Because of his position as a professional historian and not 
as a commentator, it is more likely Tacitus referenced government 

records over Christian testimony. It is also possible Tacitus received some of 
his information from his friend and fellow secular historian, Pliny 

the Younger. Yet, even if Tacitus referenced some of Pliny's 
sources, it would be out of his character to have done so without critical 

investigation. An example of Tacitus criticising testimony given to him even 
from his dear friend Pliny is found here:
 Annals XV, 55. Tacitus 

distinguishes between confirmed and hearsay accounts almost 70 times in 
his History. If he felt this account of Jesus was only a rumor or 

folklore, he would have issued his usual disclaimer that this account was 

Skeptic Interjection: Could this passage have been a Christian 

Answer: Judging by the critical undertones of the passage, this is 
highly unlikely. Tacitus refers to Christianity as a superstition and 

insuppressible mischief. Furthermore, there is not a surviving copy 
of Tacitus' Annals that does not contain this 
passage. There is no verifiable 

evidence of tampering of any kind in this passage.

Skeptic Interjection: Why is this passage not quoted by the early 
church fathers?

Answer: Due to the condescending nature of Tacitus' testimony, 
early Christian authors most likely would not have quoted such a source 

(assuming Tacitus' writings were even available to them). However, our actual 
answer comes from the content of the passage itself. Nothing in 

Tacitus' statement mentions anything that was not already common knowledge 
among Christians. It simply provides evidence of Jesus' 

existence (a topic not debated at this point in history) and not his divinity.

Skeptic Interjection: Does the incorrect use of title procurator instead 
of prefect negate Tacitus' reliability?

Answer: No. Evidence is provided in both secular and Christian 
works which refer to Pilate as a procurator:

· &... 
"But now Pilate, the procurator of Judea... Antiquities 

· &... 
"Now Pilate, who was sent as procurator into 
Judea by 
Tiberius..." The 
Jewish Wars, Book II 

· &... 
"Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the times of 
Tiberius Caesar..." 
First Apology XII

It has been suggested by both Christian and 
secular scholars that Tacitus was either using an anachronism for the sake of 
clarity or, since 

Judea was a relatively new and insignificant Roman province, Pilate might have 
held both positions.

GAIUS SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS (69 - 130 A.D.) Suetonius was a 
prominent Roman historian who recorded the lives of the Roman 

Caesars and the historical events surrounding their reigns. He served as a 
court official under Hadrian and as an annalist for the Imperial 

House. Suetonius records the expulsion of the Christian Jews from 
Rome (mentioned in Acts18:2) and confirms the 
Christian faith being 

founded by Christ.

"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of 
[Claudius] expelled them from 
Rome." Life of Claudius 25.4

Because Suetonius misspells Christus as Chrestus
is it possible he was referring to someone else?

Answer: Because Chrestus was an actual Greek name, 
critics speculate Suetonius may have been referring to a specific civil 
agitator. I would 

like to present a few arguments as to why I feel this is a reference to Jesus. 
In order to get as close to the author's intent as possible, this is 

the passage as it exists in the original Latin:

"Iudaeos (The 
Jews) impulsore (the instigation) Chresto (Chrestus) assidue (upon) tumultuantis (making 
a disturbance) Roma 

Rome) expulit (were expelled)."

1. Suetonius seems to 
imply the word Chrestus as a title- not as a reference to 
a particular rebel. Though I have seen critics cite the 

passage as "certain/one Chrestus" we 
can see this is incorrect by the lack of the word quodam in 
the original Latin.

2. Suetonius uses the 
word instigation- not instigator. The Latin word referring to an 
instigator is impulsor but the term referring to 

instigation is impusore- and this is the word Suetonius 
uses, thus affirming the belief he is using the word Chrestus as 
a title and not as 

a name.

3. It was common for 
both pagan and Christian authors to spell the name using 
either an e or an i- and we know the Christian authors 

were obviously referring to Jesus when they spelled the name as Chrestus.

4. Tertullian 
criticises pagan disdain for Christianity and points out the fact they 
can't even spell the name correctly. He implies the 

common misspelling of Chrestus by their use of the 
term Chrestians: "Most people so blindly 
knock their heads against the hatred of the 

Christian name...It is wrongly pronounced by you as "Chrestians
(for you do not even know accurately the name you hate)... 

the special ground of dislike to the sect is, that 
it bears the name of its Founder

5. We also see 
Justin Martyr (a Christian apologist, nonetheless!) using the incorrect 
spelling of Chrestian
First Apology IV

6. Lactantius repeats 
the lament of Tertullian with his statement, "But the meaning 
of this name must be set forth, on account of the error 

of the ignorant who by the change of a letter are accustomed to 
call Him Chrestus." 
Fathers of the Third 
and Fourth Centuries

7. Chrestus was a Greco-Roman 
 name but Suetonius tells us "foreigners" were not 
allowed to adopt such names. Knowing the Jews 

were a close-knit community, the idea of them following the revolt 
of a gentile slave to such an extent to get them (and only them!) 

expelled from 
Rome is quite a 

Skeptic Interjection: How could this passage refer to Jesus. He was 
never said to have travelled to 

Answer: If Chrestus does refer to a title and not 
a specific name (as we are asserting), there is no need for Him to have been in 
Rome. A 

leader can still be "an instigator" for a cause without being in the 
vicinity. There are many causes that survived long after the lives of those 

who initiated certain movements.

(~ 52 A.D.) 
Although his works exist only in fragments, Julius Africanus 
debates Thallus' explanation of the 
midday darkness which 

occurred during the Passover of Jesus' crucifixion. Thallus tries to dismiss 
the darkness as a natural occurrence (a solar eclipse) but Africanus 

argues (and any astronomer can confirm) a solar eclipse cannot physically occur 
during a full moon due to the alignment of the planets. 

Phlegon of Tralles, a 2nd century secular historian, also mentions the darkness 
and tries to dismiss it as a solar eclipse. He also states the 

event occurred during the time of Tiberius Caesar.

"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness. The rocks 
were rent by an earthquake and many places in 
Judea and other 

districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his 
History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the 

sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the 
moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the 

passover. But an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under 
the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time... Phlegon 

records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full 
eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth-manifestly that one 

of which we speak. 
Chronography XVIII, 47

Why doesn't Pliny the Elder or Seneca mention this event in 
their writings?

 Pliny focused his writings on natural astronomical 
events that had physical, scientific explanations. It is doubtful he would have 

it necessary to record an event of supernatural origin. I can also find no 
mention of him being in 
Judea at the time so it is 
doubtful he would 

have mentioned it if he did not witness the event first hand. 
Seneca focused his 
writings on dramas, dialogues, and tragedies but also wrote a 

meteorological essayNatural Questions, composed of 
theories pertaining to ancient cosmology. However this was by no means a 

scientific almanac of events- it was a literary work. And like 
Pliny, it is doubtful Seneca was in 
Judea during this event.

Skeptic Interjection: Because Thallus' and Phlegon's works exist 
only in fragments, can their testimonies be considered reliable?

Answer: This is something the reader will have to determine on 
their own. Africanus was an honest, qualified author who did not alter the 

quotes to serve his own purpose. This is very likely considering what we know 
about Africanus. Africanus' methods were highly 

respected by his peers, he was often quoted by other authors, and he even 
chastises his friend and fellow Christian, Origen, for citing 

information from a spurious/unreliable source! (See: 
Africanus' letter to 
It also must be noted that Thallus never said this eclipse did 

not happen but instead was trying to actually come up with a scientific explanation 
to the eclipse instead of assigning it divine origins.

THE YOUNGER (63 - 113 A.D)
 Pliny the Younger admits to 
torturing and executing Christians who refused to deny Christ. Those who 

denied the charges were spared and ordered to exalt the Roman gods and curse 
the name of Christ. Pliny addresses his concerns to Emperor 

Trajan that too many citizens were being killed for their refusal to deny their 

"I asked them directly if they were Christians...those who persisted, I 
ordered away... Those who denied they were or ever had been 

Christians...worshiped both your image and the images of the gods and cursed 
Christ. They used to gather on a stated day before dawn and 

sing to Christ as if he were a god... All the more I believed it necessary to 
find out what was the truth from two servant maids, which were 

called deaconesses, by means of torture. Nothing more did I find than a 
disgusting, fanatical superstition. Therefore I stopped the examination, 

and hastened to consult you...on account of the number of people endangered. 
For many of all ages, all classes, and both sexes already are 

brought into danger..." 
letter to Emperor Trajan

Pliny states some of the accused denied the charges, a recurring theme in the 
correspondence between Pliny and Trajan is the 

willingness of the true believer to die for Christ. This would hardly be 
reasonable if they knew He never existed!

How does dying for one's belief verify the actual existence of 
Jesus? The sincerity of a belief does not necessarily 

make the belief true. How does this passage specifically confirm a historical 
Jesus and not just the existence of Christians in 

Answer: Pliny states the Christians worshiped Christ as 
 he were a god. This indicates one who would not normally 
be considered a god, 

such as a human who was exalted to divine status. Also, the early Christians 
would have been in the position to know if Jesus was a historical 

figure or not. 
Though critics can claim these martyrs took Jesus' existence 
solely on faith, common sense tells us there would have been a lot 

more evidence of a historical Jesus at this time than what has been preserved 
until today. According to early historians, Jesus' great-nephews 

and other relatives were still alive as well as the associates of the original 
apostles. Such individuals could easily verify His existence. Also, 

documents which have been lost to us were still in existence (such as Jesus' 
trial records and the census records of His birth) and were even 

referenced by early authors who wrote about Jesus. These individuals had every 
reason to be certain of Jesus' existence and were willing to 

die because of it.

Skeptic Interjection: Pliny also states some recanted their 
testimony. Perhaps they did so because they knew Jesus was a myth.

Answer: There are several rational explanations as to why some 
would recant their Christian beliefs:

· &... 
Pliny readily admits to torturing some of the accused (are admissions/denials 
really credible under torture!?).

· &... 
The accused knew if they did not recant they would be put 
to death (fallible human rationalization: confess ... 
go home [and work out 

the hard feelings with Jesus later] or suffer crucifixion?).

· &... 
Some of the accused could have been lackadaisical Christians who 
half-heartedly accepted Christianity because of a spouse, parent, or 

friend (and would have had no problem reverting back to paganism upon facing persecution). There 
were half-hearted Christians 2,000 

years ago just like there are half-hearted Christians today.

· &... 
New Christians may have recanted to escape persecution if 
they were not familiar with or did not understand the 
severity of Jesus' 

warning regarding those who deny their Christian beliefs).

· &... 
The correspondence between Pliny and Trajan implies many of the 
accused were being turned in falsely by their enemies. Some were 

never Christians to begin with while some had already left&nbs...; 
prior to their interrogation.

· &... 
Just because there were some who may have recanted out of fear 
or poor judgment doesn't dismiss the deaths of the other individuals 

who were certain of Jesus' existence and died because of 
their knowledge.

(~ 178 A.D.)
 Celsus was a second century Roman author and avid 
opponent of Christianity. He went to great lengths to disprove the 

divinity of Jesus yet never denied His actual existence. Unfortunately for 
Celsus, he sets himself up for criticism by mimicking the exact 

accusations brought against Jesus by the pharisees which had already been 
addressed and refuted in the New Testament. There are two very 

important facts regarding Celsus which make him one of the most important 
witnesses in this discussion:

· &... 
Though most secular passages are accused of being Christian 
interpolations, we can accept with certainty this is not the case 

Celsus! The sheer volume of his writings (specifically designed 
to discredit Christianity) coupled with the hostile 
accusations presented 

in his work dismiss this chance immediately.

· &... 
The idea of Celsus getting his information entirely from Christian sourc... 
recurring accusation against secular evidence) is&n...;

wholly absurd. Though he is obviously aware of his opponents' beliefs 
(as anyone who is engaging in a debate should be), Celsus wrote 

his exposition in the form of a dialogue between a "Jewish Critic" 
and himself. This gives us cause to believe he used non-Christian 

(probably Jewish) sources.

On Jesus' Miracles: "Jesus, on account of his poverty, was 
hired out to go to 
Egypt. While there he 
acquired certain 
[magical] powers... He 

returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of 
them gave himself out to be a god... It was by means of 

sorcery that He was able to accomplish the wonders which He performed... Let us 
believe that these cures, or the resurrection, or the feeding 

of a multitude with a few loaves... These are nothing more than the tricks of 
jugglers... It is by the names of certain demons, and by the use of 

incantations, that the Christians appear to be possessed of 
[miraculous] power..."

Not only does Celsus confirm Jesus' existence, he also tries to debate the 
source of Jesus' miracles. Like the pharisees of Jesus' day, Celsus 

tries to dismiss these miracles as both demonic possession and cheap parlor 
tricks. However, he is clearly grasping at straws: On one hand 

Celsus accuses Jesus of performing magic learned in 
Egypt, then later states 
it is by the power of possession, then states the miracles were 

not really miracles at all but were illusionary tricks performed by a deceiver, 
then finally states the miracles never occurred!

On the Virgin Birth: "Jesus had come from a village in 
Judea, and was the son of 
a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her 

hands. His mother had been turned out by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, 
on being convicted of adultery [with a Roman soldier 

named Panthera]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in 
disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard."

acknowledges Jesus' birth and existence but does not accept the concept of a 
virgin conception. He tries to dismiss Mary's premarital 

pregnancy as the result of an affair she had with a Roman soldier. Strangely 
enough, there is a very similar passage in the Jewish Talmud 

which makes the same accusation. This gives us reason to believe Celsus might 
have referenced Jewish sources for some of his arguments.

On the Apostles: "Jesus gathered around him ten or eleven 
persons of notorious character... tax-collectors, sailors, and fishermen... [He 

was] deserted and delivered up by those who had been his associates, who had 
him for their teacher, and who believed he was the savior and 

son of the greatest God... Those who were his associates while alive, who 
listened to his voice, and enjoyed his instructions as their teacher, 

on seeing him subjected to punishment and death, neither died with nor for 
him... but denied that they were even his disciples, lest they die 

along with Him."

Celsus' intentions were to argue that if the disciples really believed 
Jesus was the Son of God, they would not have forsaken Him at His arrest. 

Instead, he only ends up confirming the Biblical account! The Bible tells us 
when Jesus was arrested, the apostles denied being His followers. It 

was only upon Jesus' resurrection they understood the spiritual principles 
concerning Jesus' crucifixion and boldly went out to preach the 

Gospel. Celsus is also wrong with his statement, [they] neither died 
with nor for him
. We are told by early historians all but one of the 

remaining apostles were killed for their faith.

On Jesus' Divinity: "One who was a God could neither flee 
nor be led away a prisoner... What great deeds did Jesus perform as God? Did he 

put his enemies to shame or bring to an end what was designed against him? No 
calamity happened even to him who condemned him... Why 

does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this 
reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him 

and his Father?" 

Celsus ridicules Jesus for the exact same reasons the pharisees of His time 
ridiculed Him- if Jesus was the Son of God, why didn't He save 

Himself from the cross? Neither Celsus nor the pharisees understood the 
spiritual implications of Jesus' death to atone for sin. Celsus also asks 

why no judgment came upon the Jews but history shows shortly after His death 
Jerusalem was invaded by the Romans, the Jewish temple was 

destroyed, and the Jewish people were dispersed for almost 2,000 years!

John the Baptist "If any one predicted to us that the Son 
of God was to visit mankind, he was one of our prophets, and the prophet of our 

God? John, who baptized Jesus, was a Jew."

Celsus confirms Jesus' baptism by John but asserts that John was the only 
one who actually prophesied His coming- not the Old Testament 
Messianic prophecies.

On the Crucifixion: "Jesus accordingly exhibited after His 
death only the appearance of wounds received on the cross, and was not in 

so wounded as He is described to have been."

In this statement, Celsus confirms Jesus' death by crucifixion although he 
claims the only wounds Jesus received were those inflicted by the 

crucifixion (thus denying any previous torture had taken place). But not even 
history offers Celsus the benefit of a doubt as floggings were the 

standard form of torture given to victims prior to crucifixion. Celsus 
contradicts himself yet again when he later states Jesus was 

probably never even crucified but instead had an impostor die in His place!

 Celsus also states, "It is clear to me that 
the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well 

enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction."
 How do we 
know Celsus is referring to a historical Jesus and not just 
debating myth?

Answer: Evidence which shows Celsus to be refuting aspects of a 
historical Jesus is as follows:

Our answer can be found in Cels...He 
was therefore a man, and of such a nature, as 
the truth itself proves, and reason&...

demonstrates him to be
. Satisfied with his presentation 
of evidence, Celsus offers his conclusion that not a myth 

(or a God, as the apostles had&...

2. Instead of denying the alleged event... 
the early Christian claims (like the...

up for an illegitimate pregnancy and... 
he was discussing a mythical character, he would 

not have needed to go to such lengths but merely to 
have dismissed Jesus as a myth. After all, there 
is no easier way to discredit a 

religion than to assert its founder&... 
is an argument Celsus never makes.

3. The "fables" Celsus refers to 
is his belief that the claims such as a virgin birth and resurrection were e...

Christians- not that Jesus was Himself a myth. Celsus was debating the claims... divinity, not His existence.

OF SAMOSATA (120 - ~180 A.D.)
 Lucian was a second 
century Greek satirist and rhetorician who scornfully describes his views of 

early Christianity. Though he ridicules the Christians and their Christ, his 
writings confirm Jesus was executed via crucifixion and that He was 

the founder of Christianity.

"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day- the distinguished 
personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that 

account... It was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are 
all brothers from the moment they are converted and deny the 

gods of 
Greece, and worship the 
crucified sage, and live after his laws..." 
The Death of Peregrinus 11-13

this passage reveals and how it confirms the Biblical account:

· &... 
Jesus did exist

· &... 
Jesus was the founder of Christianity

· &... 
Jesus was worshiped by His followers

· &... 
Jesus suffered death by crucifixion

 Can we consider Lucian's testimony reliable due to the 
source being a literary work?

Answer: Lucian's commentary revolved around historical events. 
In Lucian's work The Way to Write History, he openly criticises his 

contemporaries who distort history to flatter their masters or those who fill 
in the historical gaps with personal conjecture:

historian's one task is to tell the thing as it happened... He may 
nurse some private dislikes, but he will attach far more 

to the public good, and set the truth high above his 
hate... For history, I say again, has this and only 
this for its own. If a man will start 

upon it, he must sacrifice to no God but Truth. He must 
neglect all else."

Skeptic Interjection: Is it possible Lucian received his 
knowledge from Christian sources or that this passage is an interpolation?

Answer: Seeing how adamant Lucian was in regards to historical 
accuracy and critical investigation, our answer is an emphatic no
As to the 

passage being a Christian interpolation, chances are the reference to Jesus 
would be far more favorable if this were so. Lucian refers to Jesus 

only as a man, a lawgiver, and a sage (human- not divine- descriptions). 
He never once refers to Jesus as a God. Furthermore, there isn't 

anything in the above statement that reveals what wasn't already known- it 
merely asserts that Jesus lived, preached, and died. Remember, at 

this time Christians were trying to prove Jesus' divinity- not His 

 Mara Bar-Serapion of Syria penned this letter 
from prison to his son. Though it is obvious he does not 

acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, he does mention aspects of Jesus' life. 
There is some criticism regarding this passage but it must be 

noted nothing in Serapion's letter contradicts what we know about Jesus.

"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? 
Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. 

What advantage did the men of 
Samos gain from burning 
Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did 

Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was just after that their kingdom 
was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: The 

Athenians died of hunger. 
The Samians were overwhelmed by the sea. The Jews, 
ruined and driven from their land, live in complete 

dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good. He lived on in the teachings of 
Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good. He lived on in the statue of 

Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good. He lived on in the teaching which He 
had given."

Skeptic Interjection: How do we know this passage is a 
reference to Jesus?

Answer: There are several references in this passage which imply 
Serapion is referring to Jesus:

· &... 
He was a wise King (Jesus was mocked by 
the Romans as The King of the Jews, the messianic 
prophecies fulfilled by Jesus referred to 

the coming Messiah as a king, Christian believers believed Jesus was their promised 
spiritual king, and Jesus was born from the royal 

line of King David).

· &... 
He was Jewish (Jesus was a Galilean Jew).

· &... 
He was executed (Jesus was crucified after the 
Jews appealed to Pilate to have Him crucified).

· &... 
After His death Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed 
(This occurred in 70 A.D., after Jesus' death).

· &... 
The Jews were dispersed after His death (The Jews 
Judea after the Roman attack of 70 A.D.).

· &... 
He was a teacher (Jesus was a rabbi/teacher).

· &... 
He lived on after death in His teachings (Jesus and 
His teachings founded the Christian faith).

Skeptic Interjection: Is it possible Serapion was referring to 
another person?

Answer: Though critics mention other possible candidates, the 
timing is off as Serapion specifically states just after that their 
kingdom was 

. Only Jesus fits into the appropriate timeline as Titus destroyed 
Jerusalem a mere 36 years after Jesus' 
crucifixion. The others lived 

approximately 170-250 years prior to the desolation.

Skeptic Interjection: Didn't the Romans technically 
kill Jesus, though?
, The Jews were 
under Roman domination which restricted their ability to execute 

capital punishment. The Jews rallied the Roman government to crucify Jesus for 
the crime of blasphemy as they did not have the legal power 

to do so. Even the Bible mentions Pilate's reluctance to punish an innocent man 
but that he allowed it to take place to prevent a Jewish revolt 

in an already hostile environment.



pilates reluctance punish innocent allowed prevent jewish revolt hostile environment

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    Gen. 3:15.....Seed of a woman (virgin birth).....Luke 1:35, Mt 1:18-20
    Gen. 3:15.....He will bruise Satan's head.....Heb. 2:14, 1 Jn. 3:18
    Gen. 5:24....The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated....Mk. 6:19
    Gen. 9:26,27...The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem...Lu. 3:36
    Gen. 12:3...As Abraham's seed, will bless all nations...Acts. 3:25,26
    Gen. 12:7...The Promise made to Abraham's Seed...Gal. 3:16
    Gen. 14:18...A priest after Melchizedek...Heb. 6:20
    Gen. 14:18........A King also........Heb. 7:2
    Gen. 14:18...The Last Supper foreshadowed...Mt. 26:26-29
    Gen. 17:19.......The Seed of Isaac.......Rom. 9:7
    Gen. 22:8...The Lamb of God promised...Jn. 1:29
    Gen. 22:18...As Isaac's seed, will bless all nations...Gal. 3:16
    Gen.26:2-5..The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer..Heb.11:18
    Gen. 49:10...The time of His coming...Lu. 2:1-7; Gal. 4:4
    Gen. 49:10.......The Seed of Judah.......Lu. 3:33
    Gen. 49:10......Called Shiloh or One Sent......Jn. 17:3
    Gen. 49:10...To come before Judah lost identity...Jn. 11:47-52
    Gen. 49:10...To Him shall the obedience of the people be...Jn. 10:16
    Ex. 3:13,14........The Great "I Am".......Jn. 4:26
    Ex. 12:5...A Lamb without blemish...1 Pet. 1:19
    Ex. 12:13...The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath...Rom. 5:8
    Ex. 12:21-27...Christ is our Passover...1 Cor. 5;7
    Ex. 12:46...Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken...Jn. 19:31-36
    Ex. 15:2...His exaltation predicted as Yeshua...Acts 7:55,56

    Ex. 15:11...His Character-Holiness...Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
    Ex. 17:6...The Spiritual Rock of Israel...1 Cor. 10;4
    Ex. 33:19...His Character-Merciful...Lu. 1:72
    Lev.14:11..The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood..Lu.5:12-14; Acts 6:7
    Lev.16:15-17...Prefigures Christ's once-for-all death...Heb. 9:7-14
    Lev.16:27...Suffering outside the Camp...Mt. 27:33; Heb. 13:11, 12
    Lev.17:11...The Blood-the life of the flesh...Mt. 26;28; Mk. 10:45
    Lev.17:11...It is the blood that makes atonement...1 Jn. 3:14-18
    Lev.23:36-37...The Drink-offering: "If any man thirst." ..Jn. 19:31-36
    Num. 9:12...Not a bone of Him broken...John 19:31-36
    Num. 21:9...The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up...Jn. 3:14-18
    Num. 24:17...Time: "I shall see him, but not now."...Gal. 4:4
    Deut. 18:15..."This is of a truth that prophet."...Jn. 6:14
    Deut. 18:15-16..."Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me."...Jn.
    Deut. 18:18...Sent by the Father to speak His word...Jn. 8:28, 29
    Deut. 18:19...Whoever will not hear must bear his sin...Jn. 12:15,
    Deut. 21:23...Cursed is he that hangs on a tree...Gal. 3:10-13
    Ruth 4:4-9...Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us...Eph. 1:3-7
    1 Sam. 2:10...Shall be an anointed King to the Lord...Mt. 28:18; Jn.
    2 Sam. 7:12...David's Seed...Mt. 1:1

    2 Sam. 7:14a...The Son of God... Lu. 1:32
    2 Sam. 7:16...David's house established forever...Lu. 3:31; Rev. 22:16
    2 Ki. 2:11...The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated...Lu. 24:51
    1 Chr. 17:11...David's Seed...Mt. 1:1; 9:27
    1 Chr. 17:12, 13a...To reign on David's throne forever...Lu. 1:32, 33
    1 Chr. 17:13a..."I will be His Father, Son."...Heb. 1:5
    Job 19:23-27...The Resurrection predicted...Jn. 5:24-29
    Psa. 2:1-3...The enmity of kings foreordained...Acts 4:25-28
    Psa. 2:2...To own the title, Anointed (Christ)...Acts 2:36
    Ps. 2:6...His Character-Holiness...Jn. 8:46; Rev. 3:7

    Ps. 2:6...To own the title King...Mt. 2:2
    Ps. 2:7...Declared the Beloved Son...Mt. 3;17
    Psa. 2:7, 8...The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated...Acts 13:29-33
    Psa. 2:12...Life comes through faith in Him...Jn. 20:31
    Psa. 8:2...The mouths of babes perfect His praise...Mt. 21:16
    Psa. 8:5, 6...His humiliation and exaltation...Lu. 24:50-53; 1 Cor. 15:27
    Psa. 16:10...Was not to see corruption...Acts 2:31
    Psa. 16:9-11...Was to arise from the dead...Jn. 20:9
    Psa. 17;15...The resurrection predicted...Lu. 24:6
    Psa. 22:1...Forsaken because of sins of others...2 Cor. 5:21
    Psa. 22:1...Words spoken from Calvary, "My God..." Mk. 15:34
    Psa. 22:2...Darkness upon Calvary...Mt. 27:45
    Psa. 22:7...They shoot out the lip and shake the head...Mt. 27:39
    Psa. 22:8.." He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him "...Mt. 27:43
    Psa. 22:9......Born the Saviour......Lu. 2:7
    Psa. 22:14...Died of a broken (ruptured) heart...Jn. 19:34
    Psa. 22:14,15...Suffered agony on Calvary...Mk. 15:34-37
    Psa. 22:15........He thirsted........Jn. 19:28
    Psa. 22:16...They pierced His hands and His feet....Jn. 19:34,37;20:27
    Psa. 22:17,18...Stripped Him before the stares of men...Lu. 23:34,35
    Psa. 22:18.....They parted His garments.....Jn. 19:23,24
    Psa. 22:20,21...He committed Himself to God...Lu.23:46
    Psa. 22:20,21..Satanic power bruising the Redeemer's heel..Heb. 2:14
    Psa. 22:22.....His Resurrection declared.....Jn. 20:17
    Psa. 22:27...He shall be the governor of the nations...Col 1:16
    Psa. 22:31......"It is finished"......Jn. 19:30
    Psa. 23:1...."I am the Good Shepherd"....Jn. 10:11
    Psa. 24:3......His exaltation predicted......Acts 1:11; Phil. 2:9
    Psa. 30:3......His resurrection predicted......Acts 2:32


    • *********************PART TWO OF FIVE *********************

      Psa. 31:5..."Into thy hands I commit my spirit"...Lu. 23:46
      Psa. 31:11...His acquaintances fled from Him...Mk. 14:50
      Psa. 31:13...They took counsel to put Him to death...Jn. 11:53

      Psa. 31:14,15..." He trusted in God, let Him deliver him"...Mt. 27:43
      Psa. 34:20.....Not a bone of Him broken.....Jn 19:31-36
      Psa. 35:11....False witnesses rose up against Him....Mt. 26:59
      Psa. 35:19...He was hated without a cause...Jn. 15:25
      Psa. 38:11.....His friends stood afar off.....Lu. 23:49
      Psa. 40:2-5...The joy of His resurrection predicted...Jn. 20:20
      Psa. 40:6-8....His delight-the will of the Father....Jn. 4:34
      Psa. 40:9....He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel....Mt. 4:17
      Psa. 40:14...Confronted by adversaries in the Garden...Jn.
      Psa. 41:9.....Betrayed by a familiar friend.....Jn. 13:18
      Psa. 45:2...Words of Grace come from His lips...Lu. 4:22
      Psa. 45:6...To own the title, God or Elohim...Heb. 1:8
      Psa. 45:7...A special anointing by the Holy Spirit...Mt.3:16; Heb.1:9
      Psa. 45:7,8...Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed)...Lu. 2:11
      Psa. 55:12-14...Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy...Jn. 13:18
      Psa. 55:15...Unrepentant death of the Betrayer...Mt. 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19
      Psa. 68:18...To give gifts to men...Eph. 4:7-16
      Psa. 68:18...Ascended into Heaven...Lu. 24:51
      Psa. 69:4...Hated without a cause...Jn. 15:25
      Psa. 69:8...A stranger to own brethren...Lu. 8;20,21
      Psa. 69:9...Zealous for the Lord's House...Jn. 2:17
      Psa. 69:14-20...Messiah's anguish of soul before crucifixion...Mt. 26:36-
      Psa. 69:20..."My soul is exceeding sorrowful."...Mt. 26:38
      Psa. 69:21...Given vinegar in thirst...Mt. 27:34
      Psa. 69:26...The Saviour given and smitten by God...Jn. 17:4; 18:11
      Psa. 72:10,11...Great persons were to visit Him...Mt. 2:1-11
      Psa. 72:16...The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground...Jn. 12:24
      Psa. 72:17...His name, Yinon, will produce offspring...Jn. 1:12,13
      Psa. 72:17...All nations shall be blessed by Him...Acts 2:11,12,41
      Psa. 78:1.2...He would teach in parables...Mt. 13:34-35

      Psa. 78:2b...To speak the Wisdom of God with authority...Mt. 7:29
      Psa. 88:8...They stood afar off and watched...Lu. 23:49
      Psa. 89:27...Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings...Lu. 1:32,33
      Psa. 89:35-37...David's Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever...Lu.
      Psa. 89:36-37...His character-Faithfulness...Rev. 1:5
      Psa. 90:2...He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)...Jn. 1:1
      Psa. 91:11,12...Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ...Lu.
      Psa. 97:9...His exaltation predicted...Acts 1:11;Eph. 1:20
      Psa. 100:5...His character-Goodness...Mt. 19:16,17
      Psa. 102:1-11...The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary...Jn. 21:16-30
      Psa. 102:25-27...Messiah is the Preexistent Son...Heb. 1:10-12
      Psa. 109:25...Ridiculed...Mt. 27:39
      Psa. 110:1...Son of David...Mt. 22:43
      Psa. 110:1...To ascend to the right-hand of the Father...Mk.16:19
      Psa. 110:1...David's son called Lord...Mt. 22:44,45
      Psa. 110:4...A priest after Melchizedek's order...Heb. 6:20
      Psa. 112:4...His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al... Mt. 9;36
      Psa. 118:17,18...Messiah's Resurrection assured...Lu. 24:5-7;1 Cor.
      Psa. 118:22,23...The rejected stone is Head of the corner...Mt.
      Psa. 118:26a...The Blessed One presented to Israel...Mt. 21:9
      Psa. 118:26b...To come while Temple standing...Mt. 21;12-15
      Psa. 132:11...The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)...Lu. 1:32
      Psa. 138:1-6...The supremacy of David's Seed amazes kings... Mt. 2:2-6
      Psa. 147:3,6...The earthly ministry of Christ described...Lu. 4:18
      Psa. 1:23...He will send the Spirit of God... Jn. 16;7
      Song. 5;16...The altogether lovely One...Jn. 1:17
      Isa. 6:1...When Isaiah saw His glory... Jn. 12:40-41
      Isa. 6:9-10...Parables fall on deaf ears...Mt. 13:13-15


    • ************************ PART THREE OF FIVE ***************************

      Isa. 53:10b...An offering for sin... Mt. 20:28
      Isa. 53:10c...Resurrected and live forever.... Mk. 16:16

      Isa. 53:10d...He would prosper... Jn. 17:1-5
      Isa. 53:11a...God fully satisfied with His suffering... Jn. 12:27
      Isa. 53:11b...God's servant... Rom. 5:18-19
      Isa. 53:11c...He would justify man before God... Rom. 5:8-9
      Isa. 53:11d...The sin-bearer for all mankind... Heb. 9:28
      Isa. 53:12a...Exalted by God because of his sacrifice... Mt. 28:18
      Isa. 53:12b...He would give up his life to save mankind... Lu. 23:46
      Isa. 53:12c...Grouped with criminals... Lu. 23:32
      Isa. 53:12d...Sin-bearer for all mankind... 2 Cor. 5:21
      Isa. 53:12e...Intercede to God in behalf of mankind... Lu. 23:34
      Isa. 55:3...Resurrected by God... Acts 13:34
      Isa. 55:4...A witness... Jn. 18:37
      Isa. 59:15-16a...He would come to provide salvation... Jn. 6:40
      Isa. 59:15-16b...Intercessor between man and God... Mt. 10:32
      Isa. 59:20...He would come to Zion as their Redeemer... Lu. 2:38
      Isa. 61:1-2a...The Spirit of God upon him... Mt. 3:16-17
      Isa. 61:1-2b...The Messiah would preach the good news... Lu. 4:17-21
      Isa. 61:1-2c...Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death... Jn.
      Isa. 61:1-2...Proclaim a period of grace... Jn. 5:24
      Jer.23:5-6a...Descendant of David...Lu. 3:23-31
      Jer. 23:5-6b...The Messiah would be God... Jn. 13:13
      Jer. 23:5-6c...The Messiah would be both God and Man... 1 Tim. 3:16
      Jer. 31:22...Born of a virgin... Mt. 1:18-20
      Jer. 31:31...The Messiah would be the new covenant... Mt. 26:28
      Jer. 33:14-15...Descendant of David... Lu. 3:23-31
      Eze.17:22-24...Descendant of David... Lk. 3:23-31
      Eze.34:23-24...Descendant of David... Mt. 1:1
      Dan. 7:13-14a...He would ascend into heaven... Acts 1:9-11
      Dan. 7:13-14b...Highly exalted... Eph. 1:20-22
      Dan. 7:13-14c...His dominion would be everlasting... Lu. 1:31-33

      Dan. 9:24a...To make an end to sins... Gal. 1:3-5
      Dan. 9:24b...He would be holy... Lu. 1:35
      Dan. 9:25...Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after
      the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem... Jn. 12:12-13
      Dan. 9:26a...Killed... Mt. 27:35
      Dan. 9:26b...Die for the sins of the world... Heb. 2:9
      Dan. 9:26c...Killed before the destruction of the temple... Mt. 27:50-51
      Dan. 10:5-6...Messiah in a glorified state... Rev. 1:13-16
      Hos. 13:14...He would defeat death... 1 Cor. 15:55-57
      Joel 2:32...Offer salvation to all mankind... Rom. 10:12-13
      Mic. 5:2a...Born in Bethlehem... Mt. 2:1-2
      Mic. 5:2b...God's servant... Jn. 15:10
      Mic. 5:2c...From everlasting... Jn. 8:58
      Hag. 2:6-9...He would visit the second Temple... Lu. 2:27-32Hag. 2:23...Descendant of Zerubbabel... Lu. 3:23-27
      Zech. 3:8...God's servant... Jn. 17:4
      Zech. 6:12-13...Priest and King... Heb. 8:1
      Zech. 9:9a...Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem... Mt. 21:8-10
      Zech. 9:9b...Beheld as King... Jn. 12:12-13
      Zech. 9:9c...The Messiah would be just... Jn. 5:30
      Zech. 9:9d...The Messiah would bring salvation... Luke 19:10
      Zech. 9:9e...The Messiah would be humble... Mt. 11:29
      Zech. 9:9f...Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey... Mt. 21:6-9
      Zech. 10:4...The cornerstone... Eph. 2:20
      Zech. 11:4-6a...At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders... Mt.
      Zech. 11:4-6b...Rejection causes God to remove His protection.. Lu.
      Zech. 11:4-6c...Rejected in favor of another king... Jn. 19:13-15
      Zech. 11:7...Ministry to "poor," the believing remnant... Mt. 9:35-36
      Zech. 11:8a...Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them... Mt. 23:33
      Zech. 11:8b...Despised... Mt. 27:20

      Zech. 11:9...Stops ministering to the those who rejected Him... Mt.
      Zech. 11:10-11a...Rejection causes God to remove protection... Lu.
      Zech. 11:10-11b...The Messiah would be God... Jn. 14:7
      Zech. 11:12-13a...Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver... Mt. 26:14-15
      Zech. 11:12-13b...Rejected... Mt. 26:14-15
      Zech. 11:12-13c...Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the
      Lord... Mt. 27:3-5
      Zech. 11:12-13d...The Messiah would be God... Jn. 12:45
      Zech. 12:10a...The Messiah's body would be pierced... Jn. 19:34-37
      Zech. 12:10b...The Messiah would be both God and man... Jn. 10:30
      Zech. 12:10c...The Messiah would be rejected... Jn. 1:11
      Zech. 13:7a...God's will He die for mankind... Jn. 18:11
      Zech. 13:7b...A violent death... Mt. 27:35
      Zech. 13:7c...Both God and man.. Jn. 14:9
      Zech. 13:7d...Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him... Mt. 26:31-56
      Mal. 3:1a...Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah... Mt. 11:10
      Mal. 3:1b...Sudden appearance at the temple... Mk. 11:15-16
      Mal. 3:1c...Messenger of the new covenant... Lu. 4:43
      Mal. 4:5...Forerunner in the spirit of Elijah... Mt. 3:1-2
      Mal. 4:6...Forerunner would turn many to righteousness... Lu. 1:16-17

    • ************************* PART FOUR OF FIVE ************************

      Messianic Prophecy: A Definition

      The term "Messianic prophecy" refers to a compilation of over one hundred predictions (conservative estimate) in the Old Testament regarding the Messiah. They have undeniable accuracy even though these prophecies were recorded by numerous writers into various books over 1000 years. We are assured that these prophecies were not conspired after the fact due to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint. These items are existed prior to Jesus' time on earth.

      Messianic Prophecy: The Fulfillment

      Jesus Christ fulfilled the Messianic Prophecy foretold by the Old Testament authors. Study the prophecies yourself and consider the probability of just one person fulfilling even a few of these specific prophecies! Luke 24:44 says, "Then he said, 'When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true.'" 

      Consider these Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillment by Christ:
      •Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7)
      •Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23) as a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16), of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23, 33; Hebrews 7:14), and of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Matthew 1:1)
      •Herod killing the infants (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
      •Taken to Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15)
      •Heralded by the messenger of the Lord (John the Baptist) (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3)
      •Anointed by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16-17)
      •Preached good news (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:14-21)
      •Performed miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35)
      •Cleansed the Temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12-13)
      •Ministered in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-16)
      •Entered Jerusalem as a king on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-9)
      •First presented Himself as King 173,880 days from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25; Matthew 21:4-11)
      •Rejected by Jews (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7)
      •Died a humiliating death (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) involving: rejection (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:10-11; 7:5,48), betrayal by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:3-4; John 13:18), sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15), silence before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14), being mocked (Psalm 22: 7-8; Matthew 27:31), beaten (Isaiah 52:14; Matthew 27:26), spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:30), piercing His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Matthew 27:31), being crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38), praying for His persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34), piercing His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34), given gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34, Luke 23:36), no broken bones (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-36), buried in a rich man's tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60), casting lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24).
      •Rose from the dead! (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6; Acts 2:31)
      •Ascended into Heaven (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9)
      •Sat down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)

      Messianic Prophecy - The Odds of Fulfillment

      We can understand the power of Messianic Prophecy when we consider statistical odds that one person fulfilled all of them. If we study just seven of the specific prophecies, that were later fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ, we are amazed by the impossibility! 

      To illustrate, here are some conservative "odds" next to seven established prophecies.
      Messianic Prophecy Odds Without God
      1. Jesus would be a descendant of David. 104 (1 in 10,000)
      2. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. 105 (1 in 100,000)
      3. Jesus would be a miracle worker. 105 (1 in 100,000)
      4. Jesus would present Himself as King riding on a donkey. 106 (1 in 1,000,000)
      5. Jesus would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver. 106 (1 in 1,000,000)
      6. Jesus would be crucified. 106 (1 in 1,000,000)
      7. Jesus would first present Himself as King 173,880 days
      from the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem. 106 (1 in 1,000,000)
      Total Probability (without God) 1038 (1 in a 100 billion, billion, billion, billion)

      Messianic Prophecy - The Importance!

      This Messianic prophecy is unparalleled evidence that sets God's Word, the Bible, apart from the other "holy books." Take time to study the Old Testament prophecies and the parallel New Testament fulfillments. What you discover is potentially life-changing!

      Christian Persecution: Dramatic Evidence Supporting the Early Church
      Christian persecution started with Jesus himself. He was asked directly at trial, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus left no room for ambiguity – His first two words were “I am.” The religious elite in Jerusalem knew what Jesus was saying – It was very clear to them that He was claiming to be God. As such, Jesus was put to death on a Roman cross for the crime of blasphemy, thus becoming the first martyr for what would become the Christian Church.
      Christian Persecution: Many of the Early Disciples Died for their Faith
      Christian persecution was a dramatic part of early church history. For anyone who holds that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a man-made hoax conspired by a group of disciples should check out the legacy of martyrdom. Eleven of the 12 apostles, and many of the other early disciples, died for their adherence to this story. This is dramatic, since they all witnessed the alleged events of Jesus and still went to their deaths defending their faith. Why is this dramatic, when many throughout history have died martyred deaths for a religious belief? Because people don’t die for a lie. Look at human nature throughout history. No conspiracy can be maintained when life or liberty is at stake. Dying for a belief is one thing, but numerous eye-witnesses dying for a known lie is quite another.
      Christian Persecution: A list of Early Martyrs Who Were Witnesses to the Life of Jesus
      Here is an account of early Christian persecution, as compiled from numerous sources outside the Bible, the most-famous of which is Foxes’Christian Martyrs of the World:

    • ********************** PART FIVE OF FIVE *******************************

      Around 34 A.D., one year after the crucifixion of Jesus, Stephen was thrown out of Jerusalem and stoned to death. Approximately 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom in Jerusalem during this period. About 10 years later, James, the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John, was killed when Herod Agrippa arrived as governor of Judea. Agrippa detested the Christian sect of Jews, and many early disciples were martyred under his rule, including Timon and Parmenas.

      Around 54 A.D., Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida, in Galilee, suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified. About six years later, Matthew, the tax-collector from Nazareth who wrote his gospel in Hebrew, was preaching in Ethiopia when he suffered martyrdom by the sword. James, the brother of Jesus, administered the early church in Jerusalem and was the author of an Epistle by his name. 

      At age 94, he was beat and stoned, and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller's club. Matthias was the apostle who filled the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded. Andrew was the brother of Peter who preached the gospel throughout Asia. On his arrival at Edessa, he was arrested and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground (this is where we get the term, St. Andrew's Cross). 

      Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter, and then transcribed Peter’s account of Jesus in his Gospel. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria in front of Serapis, their pagan idol. It appears Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. 

      Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his own request, because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. Paul’s faith was so dramatic in the face of martyrdom, that the authorities removed him to a private place for execution by the sword. 

      In about 72 A.D., Jude, the brother of James who was commonly called Thaddeus, was crucified at Edessa. Bartholomew preached in several countries and translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of India. He was cruelly beaten and then crucified by idolaters there. Thomas, called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear. 

      Luke was the author of the Gospel under his name. He traveled with Paul through various countries and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece. Barnabas, of Cyprus, was killed without many known facts in about 73 A.D. Simon, surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D. 

      John, the "beloved disciple," was the brother of James. From Ephesus he was ordered to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.

    • Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled in One Person:

      1. Betrayed by a friend. (Psalms 41:9; Matthew 26:49).

      2. Thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15).

      3. Betrayal money cast to the floor of the temple (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:5).

      4. Betrayal money used to buy the potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13: Matthew 27:7).

      5. Forsaken and deserted by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Mark 14:50).

      6. Accused by false witnesses (Psalms 35:11; Matthew 26:59-60).

      7. Silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12).

      8. Wounded and bruised (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:26).

      9. Hated without a cause (Psalm 69:4; John 15:25).

      10. Struck and spat upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67).

      11. Mocked, ridiculed and rejected (Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 27:27-31 and John 7:5, 48).

      12. Collapse from weakness (Psalms 109:24-25; Luke 23:26).

      13. Taunted with specific words (Psalms 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39-43).

      14. People will shake their heads at Him (Psalms 109:25; Matthew 27:39).

      15. People will stare at Him (Psalms 22:17; Luke 23:35).

      16. Executed among “sinners” (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38).

      17. Hands and feet will be pierced (Psalms 22:16; Luke 23:33).

      18. Will pray for his persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34).

      19. Friends and family will stand afar off and watch (Psalms 38:11; Luke 23:49).

      20. Garments will be divided and won by the casting of lots (Psalms 22:18; John 19:23-24).

      21. Will thirst (Psalms 69:21; John 19:28).

      22. Will be given gall and vinegar (Psalms 69:21; Matthew 27:34).

      23. Will commit Himself to God (Psalms 31:5; Luke 23:46).

      24. Bones will be left unbroken (Psalms 34:20; John 19:33).

      25. Heart will rupture (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34).

      26. Side will be pierced (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34).

      27. Darkness will come over the land at midday (Amos 8:9; Matthew 27:45).

      28. Will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).

      29. Will die 438 years after the declaration of Artaxerxes to rebuild the temple in 444 BC (Daniel 9:24).

      30. Will be raised from the dead (Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:31), ascend to heaven (Psalms 68:18; Acts 1:9) and be seated the right hand of God in full majesty and authority (Psalms 110:1; Hebrews 1:3).

      Professor Peter W. Stoner who authored “Science Speaks” stated that the probability of just eight particular prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 1 in 1017,i.e. 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000). The eight prophecies used in the calculation were:

      1. Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 7:42; Luke 2:47).

      2. Messiah is to be preceded by a Messenger (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; fulfilled in Matthew 3:1-3; 11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17).

      3. Messiah is to enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; fulfilled in Luke 35-37; Matthew 21:6-11).

      4. Messiah is to be betrayed by a friend (Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14; fulfilled in Matthew 10:4; 26:49-50; John 13:21).

      5. Messiah is to be sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; fulfilled in Matthew 26:15; 27:3).

      6. The money for which Messiah is sold is to be thrown “to the potter” in God’s house (Zechariah 11:13; fulfilled in Matthew 27:5-7).

      7. Messiah is to be silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; fulfilled in Matthew 27:12).

      8. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion as a thief (Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 53:5,12; fulfilled in Luke 23:33; John 20:25; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27,28).

      This statement was validated by the American Scientific Affiliation. This number has been illustrated as follows:

      If we take 1 X 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas, they'll cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one?

      Professor Stoner went on to consider 48 prophecies and says, “… We find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10157.

      “This is a really large number and it represents an extremely small chance. Let us try to visualize it. The silver dollar, which we have been using, is entirely too large. We must select a smaller object. The electron is about as small an object as we know of. It is so small that it will take 2.5 times 1015of them laid side by side to make a line, single file, one inch long. If we were going to count the electrons in this line one inch long, and counted 250 each minute, and if we counted day and night, it would take us 19,000,000 years to count just the one-inch line of electrons. If we had a cubic inch of these electrons and we tried to count them it would take us, counting steadily 250 each minute, 19,000,000 times 19,000,000 times 19,000,000 [nineteen million times nineteen million times nineteen million] or 6.9 times 1021 years.

      This is approximately the total number of electrons in all the mass of the known universe. In other words the probability of Jesus Christ fulfilling 48 prophecies is the same as one person being able to pick out one electron out of the entire mass of our universe.

      Such is the chance of any one man fulfilling any 48 prophecies. Yet Jesus Christ fulfilled not just 48 prophecies, not just 61 prophecies, but more than 324 individual prophecies that the Prophets wrote concerning the Messiah. I haven’t been able to find the statistical projection representing the possibility of Jesus Christ fulfilling 324 prophecies but I really don’t think it matters given the illustrations set forth above. 

      Does it really take faith to come to salvation through Jesus Christ? Absolutely but that faith is not a blind faith as some would want you to believe but instead, it is a faith based upon facts. How much faith? Maybe not very much if one really takes the time to look at the facts and take into consideration the statistics and probability of the prophecies concerning the Messiah.

      When someone tries to tell you that Christianity is a religious faith based upon ignorant acceptance of certain precepts that have no basis in fact, they are sadly mistaken. Christianity only makes sense. It is a faith that not only can be an emotional faith (which it is), it is also an intellectual faith. 

      Given the odds, I wouldn’t bet against it. Would you?

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