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Archive for May, 2005

Who Is Jesus? – Part 5 – His Death


Parental Guidance Warning – Graphic description of Christ’s death.

The central story of the Gospels is the death and resurrection of Jesus. But what if He faked His death as many people say? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, "But tell me this–since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world." (NLT)

After stating the above Paul says the following in verse 20, "But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again"

Earlier in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul said this; "Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message. And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it–unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me–that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles. After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers] at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, I saw him, too."

Did Jesus really die on the cross? Was His death faked? Let’s look at the medical evidence. In Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ he interviews Dr. Robert J. Stein and Alexander Metherell, M.D., PH.D. In these interviews some facts that only medical doctors could see surface.

The torture that would end on the cross actually began in the garden of Gethsemane. The Bible says in Luke 22:41-44; "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

There is a medical condition called hematdrosis. It is a condition associated with a very high degree of psychological stress. What happens is that severe anxiety causes the release of chemicals that break down small blood vessels in the sweat glands. As a result there is a small amount of bleeding occurs and the sweat comes out tinged with blood. It also has the effect of making the person’s skin extremely fragile so that when Jesus was flogged by the Roman soldier His skin would have been very, very sensitive.

Roman flogging was very brutal and though the sentence given was usually 39 lashes, the prisoner frequently received more depending on the mood of the soldier giving out the punishment. They would use a whip of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them. When the whip would strike the flesh, these balls would cause deep bruises or contusions, which would break open with further blows. And the whip had pieces of sharp bone as well, which would cut the flesh severely. The back would be so shredded that part of the spine was sometimes exposed by very deep cuts.

One physician who has studied Roman beatings said, " As the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh." A historian by the name Eusebius who lived in the third century described it saying. "The sufferer’s veins were laid bare and the insides of his body were laid open to exposure"

Many people were known to have died from a beating like this before they were crucified. At the very least the person would suffer a tremendous amount of pain and go into hypovolemic shock which is a condition brought on by loss of a large amount of blood.

Because of the terrible effects of the beating Jesus received there is no question that Jesus was already in a critical condition even before the nails were driven through His hands and feet.

After He arrived at Golgotha, they bound Him to a cross. They fastened him to it by driving spikes that were 5 to 7 inches long through His wrists just below the palms. This is where the median nerve runs. This is the largest nerve going into the hand and it would have been crushed by the spike. The pain that this would have produced would be like someone taking a pair of pliers and squeezing and crushing that nerve. Imagine the pain of a dentist accidently hitting a nerve in your mouth but instead of the pain leaving, it stays. He was then hoisted up and spikes were driven through His feet, producing the same pain He received in His hands. This is just the beginning of what He suffered. Next because of the weight of His body on the cross His arms would have stretched and His shoulders would have become dislocated.

Crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. The reasons for this is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into an inhaled position and to exhale the person must push up on his feet so that the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. Each breath was complete agony. Every time the person would struggle to breath their battered back and spine would rub against the rough wood of the cross and the spikes would tear deeper into their flesh. Eventually exhaustion would set in and they would go into a condition called respiratory acidosis. This eventually leads to an irregular heartbeat and to finally a heart attack. This is the manner in which Jesus died.

How do we know He actually died and didn’t faint? When a person dies their blood stops flowing and in Jesus case because of the hypovolemic shock which contributed to the rapid heartbeat and failure, there was a collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart and as well as the lungs. So when the Roman soldier thrust the spear into Jesus side blood and water flowed out. This can only occur if a person’s heart has stopped beating and is dead.

Jesus died in a way that exacted the most pain that a human being could endure and He did it all with you in mind. Jesus was not killed, He gave His life willingly and became the ultimate sacrifice bridging the gap that sin had made between us and God.

But He didn’t stay dead. Christ is risen! He is risen Indeed!

Coming;  Part 6 – His resurrection from the dead.

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Smoke Screen and Mirrors


The devil is a master illusionist. He likes to make us fearful and cause us to believe God’s promises are not true or that he is the one who has control. A lot of movies and television shows would have you believe he is all powerful or that he does not exist at all. He can bring about division just by sowing a thought into a Christian’s mind and then that Christian acting upon that thought. Whole churches have been brought down in this manner.

Jesus said in John 8:44 about him; " He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."

During World War II the allies had to come up with a plan to fool the Germans. In northern Britain they created an elaborate illusion of a huge army preparing for invasion. They did this by building plywood tanks and using dummies. They even took the bodies of some soldiers who had died, put false orders in their pockets, and left them floating in the English Channel where the Germans could find them. The Germans were so convinced that the attack would come at Calais that they built up their forces there and left Normandy lightly defended. The invasion of Normandy was a success because the Germans were looking somewhere else.

This is the way satan operates. He creates the illusion that the attack is coming on your finances or other areas in your life when all the while he’s stealing your marriage or children. How do we combat this?

First of all believe in the promises of provision. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus told us we were not to worry about these areas. God will always provide not matter what your situation looks like.

Second, put on the armor of God daily. Ephesians 6:10-17.

Third, pray without ceasing and live a holy life. I Thessalonians 5:15-22.

If you follow these steps using God’s word you will see very clearly where the devil’s attack is coming and not be fooled. Above all remember that the devil is no match for God. God only allows what He knows we can handle and will the attacks to cause us to grow in Christ. Don’t let the enemy bully you around. Jesus humiliated the devil at Calvary and gave us all power and authority over him. He is a defeated foe. Hallelujah!

Who is Jesus? Part 5 will be publish tomorrow, May 31st.

Higher, Faster, Stronger


For two weeks in September, 2000, the world’s best athletes competed in Sydney, Australia in the 27th Olympiad. World and Olympic records were shattered as they strove to win after years of preparation and training. Training that consumed most of their waking hours during the four years before the Olympics. We saw the joy and tears as they would cross that finish line or break a record. We saw the agony of defeat and felt for those who had trained so hard and yet came up short.

One image that will stay in my mind forever was that of Canada’s Simon Whitfield winning the men’s triathlon. He was at least 500 metres behind the leader as they approached the finish line. He looked as if he was down and out and would have to settle for the silver medal. But all of a sudden it was if he had rockets on his feet. He found his second wind and overtook the leader to take the gold. It was his months of training and discipline that allowed him to do this.

During Paul’s time the Olympics were held in Greece every four years and there is a pretty good chance Paul got to see these games. He sent a letter to the church in Corinth using terms they could understand. He compared the Christian walk to a race.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus not with uncertainty. Thus I fight not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." 1Corinthians 9:24-27

An athlete during Paul’s time had to have trained for 10 months at least before he could compete. If it was found out that he had not trained, he would be disqualified and shame was brought to his home town. Paul compares our walk to that of an athlete. We must train and discipline ourselves through reading God’s word and praying.

2Timothy 2:5 says, "If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." This applies to the Christian as well. We must follow the word of God, not comprising His truths. We must put aside the things of this world that would keep us from attaining the goals He has set for us. Let us fly as high as the eagle with God’s Spirit, be quick at hearing God’s word and declare ourselves as more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord. Higher, Faster, Stronger.

Part 5 of the series Who Is Jesus? will be posted on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Who is Jesus? – Part 4 – Is the Bible Reliable?


We have looked and seen that ancient historians and archaeology both support that Jesus did exist. We have seen that all the prophecies concerning His coming to earth the first time have come to pass as well. But how can we know that the Bible we have today is accurate? Many would say that the Bible we have today is not the same as the original and that many things have been added or taken away. Is this true? Let’s take a look.

When it comes to historical documents by ancient historians we find there are few. One of them was Tacitus, the Roman historian who wrote the Annals of Imperial Rome in about 116 A.D. Only 1 manuscript exists and it was copied about 850 A.D.

Josephus the first century Jewish historian’s work The Jewish War has only 9 copies all made between the 10th and 12th centuries.

Homar’s Iliad which was the bible of the ancient Greeks has fewer than 650 manuscripts. Some from the 2nd and 3rd century. When you think that he composed it about 800 B.C., it’s quite a gap.

How many manuscripts exist for the Bible? For the New testament alone they have found and cataloged over 5,000 Greek manuscripts. One of these is from around 3rd century called the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri number one contains portions of the four gospels and the book of Acts. Papyrus number 2 contains large portions of eight of Paul’s letters and a portion of Hebrews dating to the year 200. Papyrus number 3 has a large portion of the book of Revelation dating from the 3rd century.

The earliest portion of scripture ever found is a portion of John chapter 8. It was discovered in 1920 and in 1934 C.H. Roberts of Saint John’s Collage, in Oxford, England was able to place it as originating somewhere between the years of 100 and 150 A.D.

In addition to the Greek documents there are portions in other languages. There are 8,000 to 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts plus a total of 8,000 in Ethiopic, Slavic, and Armenian. In all there are about 24,000 manuscripts in existence.

The late F.F. Bruce, eminent professor at the University of Manchester, England and author of The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, said; "There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual witness as the New Testament."

Sir Frederic Kenyon, former director of the British Museum said; "In no other case is the interval of the time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest manuscripts so short as that of the New Testament."

Many people believe that because the Bible has been copied over and over again it is full of mistakes and inaccuracies therefore, today we don’t have what was originally written. Is this true? Let’s take a look. There are literally tens of thousands of variations between the different texts that have been found. Eye glasses were not invented until 1373 in Venice and many of the scribes had to work under conditions with poor lighting and from texts that were faded by age so yes error was bound to come in at some points. Sometimes the scribe’s mind would play tricks on him between reading the script and the actual copying to a new parchment and words would get shifted. So instead of the sentence reading dog bites man it would be copied as man bites dog. The words were right but they were placed in the wrong sequence. In English or French this might cause a problem but because they were copying in Greek it was not. In Greek sequence doesn’t matter. One word functions as the subject of the sentence no matter were it is placed in the sequence. The meaning of the sentence isn’t distorted even if the words are not in what we would consider the right order. Differences in the spelling of names and places would be another variant between the different manuscripts. Other variants are differences in punctuation.

So do the variants between manuscripts affect any of the major doctrines of the church? None at all. Even with the variant’s we have scholars Norman Geisler and William Nix concluded that, " The New Testament, then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity, but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book, a form that is 99.5% pure"

When it comes to the Bible, how can we know that some books haven’t been left out or were changed by the early church fathers? How did they arrive at what books were to be in the Bible and which were not?

Basically the books had to meet three different criteria. First they had to have apostolic authority, meaning they had to have been written by the apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses to the events they wrote about or were followers of the apostles, as is the case of Mark and Luke. Mark was a helper to Peter, while Luke was an associate of Paul.

Second there they had to conform to what was called the rule of faith. The documents had to be in harmony with each other. And third it had to be accepted and already being used by the church. All the books we have now in the New Testament were accepted by the end of the second century.

Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, PH.D. of the Princeton Theological Seminary say’s, "We can be confident that no other ancient books can compare with the New Testament in terms of importance for Christian history or doctrine. When one studies the early history of the canon, you walk away convinced that the New Testament contains the best sources for the history of Jesus. Those who discerned the limits of the canon had a clear and balanced perspective of the gospel of Christ.

"Just read the other documents for yourself. They were written much later than the four gospels, some as late as the 6th century, long after Jesus was here. They carry names like the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Mary that are completely unrelated to their real authorship. On the other hand the four gospels were accepted with remarkable unanimity as being authentic in the story they told."

When it comes to the question of whether some of the books in the New Testament were changed to suit the beliefs of the early church fathers you have to realize that books were in wide circulation before the canon was accepted. If the leaders changed the words of Jesus, there would have been such an outcry by the early church that would have been documented and yet not one such protest has ever been found.

For further reading on this subject read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

Please don’t forget to leave your prayer requests in the box to right. We would like to pray for you tonight at our prayer meeting.

How Long Oh Lord?


"How Long Oh Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall." (13:1-4)

I can picture David writing this psalm with tears running down his face. Because of circumstances in his life, he felt as though God had left him. It is a cry of despair from a broken heart. A heart that longs for the fellowship he once had with God. He was on the verge of falling into a depression and all he could see was defeat.

All believers at one time or another pass through a dark tunnel where there seems to be no hope. God feels far away as we pass through it. Even Jesus when He was on the cross faced that despair. Sometimes it is brought on by rebellion. The bible tells us that sin separates us from the Father (Isaiah 59:1-2) and the only way back is to repent and turn back to God again. (1 John 1:9). Sometimes it is to build character and bring us to our knees. To discipline us in areas of our lives that need changing. (Hebrews 12:6-7) Sometimes it is brought on by tragedy and we question how God could of let it happen. If you don’t know God’s promises found in His word you can find yourself falling deeper and deeper into despair until it leads to depression.

At the end of the Psalm David turned his thoughts around. He remembered God’s promises and he begins to worship. He says in verses 5 and 6; But I trust in your unfailing love; "My heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."

The greatest promise that we have as Christians is this, no matter how dark it seems, no matter how far we feel God is, we can rest upon the promise that He gave us in Hebrews 13:5. I like the description in the Amplified version. "Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]" Wow! All I can say is GLORY! Like David we need to trust the Lord’s unfailing love. He has never broken a promise. Joshua 23:14 says; "And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. Take courage turn your thoughts around today. Look up and worship. God cares and He is always there no matter how you feel.

Tomorrow I will continue with Who Is Jesus – Part 4 – Is the Bible Reliable?

Please don’t forget to leave your prayer requests in the box to right. We would like to pray for you.

Who Is Jesus – Part 3 – What History Says


Many today will say that the Bible is a book of myths and fairytales and that Jesus and others never really existed. Historical documents and archeology dispute this in a big way. Here is what some ancient historians had to say about Jesus;

"Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, a member of a priestly family and who became a Pharisee at the age of 19, became the court historian for Emperor Vespasian. In the Antiquities, he wrote about many persons and events of first century Palestine. He makes two references to Jesus. The first reference is believed associated with the Apostle James. "…he brother of Jesus, who was called Christ." He also wrote, "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive, accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."

Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus recorded information pertaining to Jesus. He told of how Nero blamed a certain sect called Christians whom he said followed the teachings of Christus for the burning of Rome and decided to make an example of them buy torturing them in the Colosseum.

Thallus wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus. His writing date to circa 52 A.D. and the passage on Jesus was contained in Thallus’ work on the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to 52 A.D. Thallus noted that darkness fell on the land at the time of the crucifixion. He wrote that such a phenomenon was caused by an eclipse.

Pliny the Younger, a Roman author and administrator who served as the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, wrote in 112 A.D., two hundred years before the "deity" reaffirmation, that Christians in Bithynia worshipped Christ.

The Talmud, which consists of Jewish traditions handed down orally from generation to generation, was organized by Rabbi Akiba before his death in 135 A.D. The writings in the Talmud embrace the legal, ritual and exegetical commentaries that have developed right down to contemporary times. In Sanhedrin 43a, reference to Jesus is found. "On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf. But since nothing was brought forward in his favor, he was hanged on the eve of the Passover."If Jesus had been stoned, his death would have been at the hands of the Jews. The fact he was crucified shows that the Romans intervened. The Talmud also speaks of five of Jesus’ disciples.

The science of archaeology supports the existence of Jesus in that the names of people and places mentioned in the Gospels have been proven to be factual. Here are some of the discoveries made.;

The existence of Nazareth in Jesus’ day had been doubted by critics until its name showed up in a first-century synagogue inscription at Caesarea. Augustus’ census edicts (in connection with the Nativity) are proven by an inscription at Ankara, Turkey, his famous Res Gestae ("Things Accomplished"), in which the Roman emperor proudly claims to have taken a census three times. That husbands had to register their families for the Roman census was mandated in census papyri discovered in Egypt.

That Herod the Great ruled at the time Jesus was born is demonstrated by the numerous excavations of his massive public works in the Holy Lane, including the great Temple in Jerusalem. That his son Herod Antipas ruled Galilee is shown in similar digs at Sepphoris and Tiberias. Coins from these and the other Herodian rulers are a commonplace in coin collections.

As for Jesus’ public ministry, the remains of the foundation of the synagogue at Capernaum where He taught still exist below the present ruins of the fourth-century synagogue there. The remains of Peter’s house at Capernaum, later converted into an octagonal Christian sanctuary, have been uncovered. The hull of a first-century boat that plied the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Jesus’ time was discovered in 1986, giving us new information on how Jesus could sleep through a storm during the famous episode of the Stilling of the Tempest (Mark 4:35).

Relating to Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem, an ancient flight of stairs down to the Brook Kidron has been excavated, doubtless used by Jesus and His disciples on the way to Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives, where ancient olive trees still thrive. An inscription naming His judge on Good Friday, Pontius Pilate, was discovered at Caesarea in 1961. The very bones of the chief prosecutor at that trial, the high priest Joseph Caiaphas, came to light inside an ossuary (a stone chest used to store bones from burial sites) uncovered in 1990, the first bones of a Biblical personality ever discovered.

That they nailed victims to crosses, as in Jesus’ case, was proven when another ossuary was open north of Jerusalem in 1968, and a victim’s heel bones appeared, transfixed with a seven-inch iron spike.

Burial in tombs closed up with rolling stone disks is more than apparent today in many such sepulchers in Judea and even Galilee.

In addition, many of the sites in Jesus’ ministry, such as Bethsaida, Chorazin, Capernaum, Caesarea Philippi, Shechem, Bethany and, of course, Jerusalem are in process of excavation, promising even more archaeological discoveries relating to the life of Jesus. If the past is any precedent, almost all of these will confirm the New Testament accounts.

So where do you stand? History and archeology support that Jesus existed. Will you believe today? Who do you say He is?

For further reading on these subjects, read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Who Is Jesus? – Part 2 – Prophecy


Prophecy is defined as a prediction of the future made under Devine inspiration. In the Old Testament of the Bible there are 456 prophecies concerning the coming of Jesus. The probabilities of one person fulfilling every one of these prophecies is unbelievable. A few of those prophecies are as follows;

 

He would be born of a virgin. Isaiah14:7 – fulfilment – Matthew 1:8,

He would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 – fulfilment – Matthew 2:4-8,

King Herod’s attempt to kill Him, Jeremiah 31:15 – fulfilment – Matthew 2:16,

The ministry of John the Baptist, Isaiah 40:3 – fulfilment – John 1:23,

He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey, Zechariah 9:9 – fulfilment – Luke 19:35-37,

He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, Zechariah 11:12 – fulfilment – Matthew 26:15,

He would be crucified on a cross, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:12 – fulfilment – Matthew 27:38,

His resurrection from the dead, Psalm 16:10 – fulfilment – Acts 2:3.

 

In 1969, Professor Peter Stoner of Westmon College had 600 hundred students work on the probabilities of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled by one person. The students carefully weighed all the factors, discussed each prophecy at length, and examined the various circumstances which might indicate that men had conspired together to fulfill a particular prophecy. They made their estimates conservative enough so that there was finally unanimous agreement even among the most sceptical students. But then Professor Stoner took their estimates and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more fair.

Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a Committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to scientific material presented. After examining eight different prophecies, they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10 to the 17th power or a figure with 17 zeros!

To illustrate this imagine the state of Texas being covered in dollar coins over 2 feet deep which is the amount of coins equalling the probability of the 8 prophecies being fulfilled and then asking a blindfolded man to go in and find the one coin that was different from all the others. The chances of him finding it on the first try are almost impossible.

But of course there are many more than eight prophecies. In another calculation Stoner used 48 prophecies and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 10 to 157th power.

How large is the number one in 10 to the 157th power? It contains 157 zeros!

The probability of one person fulfilling all 456 prophecies is a staggering, and yet Jesus fulfilled them all!

("The Case for Jesus the Messiah" (by John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon and Dr. Walter C. Kaiser), page 18-20: )

Who is Jesus? Prophecy proves that He was who He said he was. Only one being has the ability to bring about every prophecy, and that is God Himself. You must make the choice to believe or not.