The Lion's Tribe - A Message to Jews and Gentiles for The Lost Sheep of the House Of Israel

Writer Author  Ron Cusano
Christian Column : Bible Teaching  - Fiction  No


All Christian faith and practice is build upon the foundation that the Bible is the true, unerring, factual and inspired Word of God, and the source of all spiritual truth. Below is just some of the evidence that testifies to the Bible being all that it claims to be!

The Anatomy Of The Scriptures:
If there were an assortment of puzzle pieces on a table, and you put them all together and they became a beautiful picture, you would have to conclude that all of the individual pieces of that puzzle has a single origin and creator. Any one piece by itself would not reveal the complete picture and the picture without all of it’s pieces would be incomplete.

The Bible is a series of 66 books or writings, authored by 40 some writers over a period of roughly 1,500 years. Most of the writers had ever met each other nor were they contemporaries. And yet, when you put all the books or writings together, like the pieces of a puzzle, a beautiful portrait emerges depicting the plan of God for mankind. It is an intricate work where every piece of the spiritual puzzle is dependent upon all the others to bring the picture into focus. It leads to the irrefutable conclusion that this picture formed by all the scriptural pieces had a single origin and creator . . . God!

There are those who will claim that the scriptures are but collusion between it’s writers, or that each writer was writing in response to previous writers in an effort to produce false religious beliefs.

For this to have occurred, the authors of scripture would have either had to have known each other or had a common goal or cause. Since the books of the Bible were written over a period of
3,500 years, the first argument is indefensible. To argue that the writers of scripture had a common cause to deceive would require motive and opportunity. This motive would have to so strong and visible as to convince many to suffer, and sacrifice their lives to perpetuate a fraud. No such motive exists nor was there opportunity! C.J. Sharp captures this miracle well:

If a fragment of stone were found in Italy, another in Asia Minor, another in Greece, another in Egypt, and on and on until sixty-six fragments had been found, and if when put together they fitted perfectly together, making a perfect statue of Venus de Milo, there is not an artist or scientist but would arrive immediately at the conclusion that there was originally a sculptor who conceived and carved the statue. The very lines and perfections would probably determine which of the great ancient artists carved the statue. Not only the unity of the Scriptures, but their lines of perfection, suggest One far above any human as the real author. That could be no one but God.

After a careful and honest analysis of the very nature of the scriptures, one can only conclude that they had a common source and author, the God of the Bible.

The Preservation Of The Scriptures:
Have you ever played “telephone” when you were a child? That is a game where a group of kids would start with one telling a secret phrase to another, who would in turn pass it on to another, who would pass it on to yet another, and so on. By the time it got to the last child the phrase was always distorted to the point where it hardly resembled the original phrase. You would expect that to happen with stories and accounts that have been handed down for over 3,500 years. Some would argue that this relegated the scriptural accounts to be little more that fables.

Archaeologists have uncovered many ancient manuscripts and writings, the “Dead Sea Scrolls” for instance, that offer amazing proof that the books of the Bible that we have today are essentially unchanged from the writings of hundreds of centuries ago. This unfounded preservation strongly suggests divine intervention and cause.

Historicity of Jesus:
Although many atheists state that Jesus never lived, He is mentioned by many contemporary, non-Christian historians. Let us look at the evidence.

Flavius Josephus, a first century Jewish historian wrote of Jesus and the Christians:

"so he [Ananus, son of Ananus the high priest] assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before him the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others (or some of his companions) and when he had formed an accusation against them, he delivered them to be stoned."

Other Jewish rabbinical writings, including Rabbi Eliezer and writers of the Talmud, talk about Jesus and his miracles. Surprisingly to many atheists, they never denied that miracles took place, but attempted to explain them as a result of evil. More information about Jesus in the Talmud can be found at Jesus Christ In The Talmud.

Cornelius Tacitus wrote about Jesus and the first century Christians in his Annals (a history of the Roman empire):

"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.".

Thallus, a Samaritan historian, wrote ca. 52 A.D. attempting to give a natural explanation for the earthquake and darkness which occurred at the crucifixion of Jesus. Mara Bar-Seraphon wrote a letter to his son in 73 A.D. which tells of the deaths of Socrates, Pythagoras, and of Jesus, "What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king?...Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given." Jesus is also mentioned by Phlegon, a first-century historian, Lucian of Samosata (in The Passing Peregrinus), and Plinius Secundus, (Pliny the Younger).

Scholars have made statements such as, "no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus” . The latest version of Encyclopedia Britannica says in its discussion of the multiple extra-biblical witnesses:

"These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries."

Even the atheist H. G. Wells spoke of Jesus, " is obliged to say, "Here was a man. This part of the tale could not have been invented."

Archeologists have uncovered and continue to uncover finds and remains of cities, towns, nations, and people that were only known about from the pages of scripture, giving strong evidence of the truth, validity and accuracy of the Bible.

The first proof we have testifying to the reliability of the Bible is the archaeological evidence. Nelson Glueck, a respected Jewish archaeologist claims: "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted a biblical reference ." The liberals made wild claims against the Bible a hundred years ago but now they are silent. This is not true of other religions. The Mormon claim for inspiration of the Book of Mormon has been categorically condemned by the Smithsonian Institute because of the fallacies shown by archaeology; this is not so with the Bible”. A.N. Sherwin-White, a respected classical historian at Oxford says about the book of Acts, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming...any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd."

The Prophesy Of The Scriptures:
The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies. Most have already been fulfilled, and some are to be fulfilled in the “Last Day’s” and when Messiah returns to Earth to establish His Davidic kingdom.

To establish a point, let’s focus only on a few of the prophecies that the Messiah had to fulfill to establish His Messianic credentials. Let’s consider the following prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. . .
1: His Linage - the Messiah would have to come from the Davidic blood line. Jer. 23: 5-6, Jer. 33: 15-16
2: Of the tribe of Judah - Gen. 49:10
3: His Birthplace - the Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem Mic. 5:2
4: Messiah’s Exact Time of Birth - Daniel 9: 25-26
5: His method of death - Psalm 22
6: Will be pierced through His hands and feet - Psalm 22:16
6: Men will gamble for his clothing - Psalm 22:18
7: Will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver - Zec. 11: 12-13
8: Would be taken to Egypt as an infant by His parents - Hos: 11:1

More Messianiac Prophecies
While there are hundreds of messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, the one thing these eight that I have selected have in common is that Jesus had no control over them coming to pass. A common argument from the skeptics is that Jesus acted to fulfill prophecy to falsely claim to be the Messiah, but these, among countless others, could not have been fulfilled willfully by anyone.

Mathematicians tell us that the odds of one man, at any given point in human history, fulfilling the prophecy that he be a descendent of David is 1 in 10,000. The odds that a man would be born in Bethlehem was 1 in 100,000. The odds that a man would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver were 1,000,000 to one. So what are the mathematical odds that any one man and any given point in human history could fulfill all eight of these prophecies?? An astounding 1 in a 100 billion, billion, billion, billion. This is a number that the human mind can’t even comprehend, and is so far from the realm of coincidence, that it enters the realm of certainty and absolute fact.

Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Messianic prophecies. Had he only fulfilled 50 of these prophecies, the odds would be 1,024 times 1,099,343,411,976 -- the answer is more than One Quadrillion.

The Bible made several prophecies of the complete destruction of cities. Many of the cities it said would be rebuilt and several it claimed would never be rebuilt - The Bible is 100% accurate in both categories as archeology shows. One amazing example is the city of Tyre. Ezekiel 26:3-5,7,12,14 and 16 predict:

- Nebuchadnezzar will take the city.
- Other nations will participate in the fulfillment.
- The city is to be made flat like the top of a rock.
- It is to become a place for spreading nets.
- Its stones and timber are to be laid in the sea.
- The old city of Tyre will never be rebuilt.

History records that Nebuchadnezzar took the city but the people escaped out to an island. Later Alexander the Great took the Island off the coast by taking the old cities rubble and throwing it into the sea making a land-bridge (this caused the old city to look flat like a rock due to the scraping of the material). The old city is now a place for fisherman but no city has been planted there even though there is an excellent water supply to support a major city.

Let’s consider another important prophecy concerning the nation of Israel. Ezekiel 37 talks about God restoring the “dead” nation of Israel and bringing it back to life. This is sometimes referred to as the prophecy of the “dry bones”!

In 1948, we witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy in our generation, right before our eyes. Israel ceased to be a nation almost 2,000 years ago after Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 70 AD. For 2,000 years the nation of Israel ceased to exist, and the Jews wandered the Earth as a people without a land. In 1948, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, God called His people back into their own land, and the nation of Israel was restored in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Scientific Evidence:
Recent scientific evidence is adding to the evidence supporting the reliability of biblical chronology from the scriptures. This study demonstrated the reliability of the Biblical record regarding the Egyptian plagues and demise of Jericho.

Drs. Hendrik J. Bruins and Johannes van der Plicht reported in the prestigious British journal, Nature , that the destruction of Jericho was dated to 1580 (+/- 13 years) B.C. (using 14C dating). This date is significant, since several archeologists have insisted that Jericho was destroyed by the Egyptians between 1550 and 1300 B.C. The recent study discredits the Egyptian theory, since the date is much too old.

What is even more exciting is that scientists, using 14C dating and tree rings, have found evidence of a volcanic eruption from the Aegean island of Thera, which recently has been dated to 1628 B.C. This would place the eruption at 45 years prior to the destruction of Jericho, at a time which coincidentally corresponds to the time of the plagues the Lord unleashed upon Egypt. Check out Exodus 10:

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. (Exodus 10:21-22)

Even the researchers commented that the 45 years difference in events was "rather striking."

Survival in the Face of Persecution:
A final indicator of the reliability of the Bible comes from the lengths disciples of Jesus went through to proclaim the gospel. In spite of extreme persecution, people were willing to die for Jesus, who predicted the persecution of the church:

"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name." (Matthew 24:9)

An example of fulfillment of this prophecy came at the hands (and writings) of Pliny the Younger as governor of Pontus/Bithynia from 111-113 AD. He wrote to the Emperor Trajan regarding the early Christian church, their devotion to Christ, and how he persecuted, tortured, and murdered them:

"They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god... Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.... Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished."

Pliny readily admits that they "were denounced to me as Christians" ("they will deliver you to tribulation") and executed ("and will kill you") just for "the nature of their creed" ("on account of My name."). This is a chilling fulfillment of prophecy, which testifies that early Christians knew the truth of the gospel and were willing to die for it.

Coincidence?? Chance?? When you examine all the evidence with an open mind and an open heart, there is only one conclusion that can be reached . . . the the Bible is divinely inspired, factual, without error and is the means by which the God of creation communicates His will to His creation.

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