Does God exist? Billions today believe that He does, billions more believe that He doesn’t. But both sides BELIEVE! Either side they are on, they base their belief on an OPINION! On a FAITH that He does or does not exist! And that SHOULD NOT BE!If there is ONE all-powerful creator who built the heavens, built you, and has plans for your future, then you should be able to PROVE it! Not just BELIEVE He exists, but PROVE that He exists! To prove it as an absolute FACT, so that you no longer have to just have FAITH that He exists, but so that you can KNOW, as surely as you know the sun will rise tomorrow, that there IS a God!
I’m sure you’ve never stopped to take the time to PROVE that there is, or is not, a God. Either way, you have accepted what you currently believe because it’s what you’ve always been taught, because it’s what your parents believed, or because of a few fleeting scraps of reason that you’ve used – here is an example from each side:
“I believe in God because I just know our soul has to go someplace when it dies!”
“I don’t believe in God because science says we don’t need Him!”
Both of those opinions are WRONG! Would you base your future – perhaps your ETERNAL future – on such reasoning as that? Would you buy a house based on that sort of research? Would you buy a car without seeing if that particular model was a lemon, and if you were paying a good price? Would you marry someone that you had never met?
And so WHY would you stake your ENTIRE ETERNAL LIFE on an OPINION?? A weak, unfounded opinion, which you never proved, never investigated, and never even took the time to verify? How dare you not spend the effort to find the answer to the question, DOES GOD EXIST!
Chapter 1: Things Only God Could Have Known
We are trained to look at history with a suspicious eye. We seem to have this subconscious picture that anyone who lived before our grandparents was a barbarous oaf who ate with his fingers and communicated with grunts. But this of course is not true at all. The Bible may or may not be inspired by God – we haven’t proved it yet, one way or the other – but it is nonetheless a historical document. A document that has been dated, depending on which book of the Bible and who you ask, at between 1900 and 3500 years ago. No one, no matter how skeptical, dates any part of the Old Testament at later than 2000 years ago. So then it is an absolute fact that this is an ancient document.
We have vast multitudes of independent writings – not only in the New Testament, but throughout the world – which were written 2000 years ago and speak of the antiquity of many books of the Old Testament even then.
So let us look at some of the things in those books that only a God could have known. Things that no man has ever known, or could conceivably have known, until our century. For this would prove that someone greater than a man had written those books.
Job 38:24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
In the book of Job, Job is asked by a person calling himself God, a list of questions intended to show him how small Job really was in comparison with the universe around him. This particular question demands of Job how the light was parted (by day into night) and how that light makes the east wind blow.
Now we, today, can answer that question. Job could not. The light causes the east wind to blow because the dawn heats the air that has been cooled all night. As the air cooled, it had contracted until it basically reached an equilibrium. Then when dawn creeps towards the horizon it begins to heat the air nearby, and as this air is heated it expands, causing a higher pressure than the still-cool air of the night, which makes the east wind “blow”.
We know this! God knew this! But NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE KNOWN THAT LIGHT CAUSES WIND! No one in the entire planet suspected a connection between light and wind until around 500 years ago! Until then no one really had the faintest clue how light really worked! Only God could have inspired that section of Job, probably written thirty-five CENTURIES ago!!
Furthermore, when focusing on the first part of that verse “the way light is parted”, the context indicates that the “parting” is referring to day and night – something God seems pretty proud of in Genesis 1. And Job could not have known how the light was parted, for in Job’s day the world was believed to be FLAT!
We, today, know that the light is parted because the Earth revolves on its own axis, and faces a constantly moving hemisphere towards the sun. But in Job’s day, NOONE KNEW THAT! The exact dating of Job is much debated, but by internal evidence it seems that it was written perhaps as early as 1700 BC, although some skeptics place it as late as 800 BC.
But the earliest secular reference to a spherical Earth is made by Pythagoreas in 570 BC! A few extremely vague hints at it were made previous to that, but nothing that could have inspired the author of Job. But the “God” who asked these questions of Job knew that the Earth was spherical, because…
Isaiah 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, …
Isaiah was written about 800 BC – long before the Greek philosophers began to tumble to the idea that the Earth was round, or “a circle” as seen from far away as Isaiah places God in this verse. Maps of the Earth from the times of Mesopotamia, when Job was most likely written, and even much later, portrayed a flat earth, sometimes round in the midst of an infinite ocean, sometimes square, sometimes pyramidal or some irregular shape like a hen’s egg or a mountain – but certainly not a globe.
Job 38:16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
We didn’t “walk in search of the depth [of the sea]”, I.E., the deepest part of the ocean, until 1875 when we discovered the deepest point on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench (although we weren’t sure it was the deepest point until much later). We didn’t fully survey it until 1951. We didn’t actually “walk” in it until 1960!
But how does this prove the existence of God? Simply the fact that in most ancient cultures, the ocean HAD no bottom! The Greek word abyss, used for the deep ocean, literally means “bottomless”! And 3500 years ago, only God could have known with such certainty that the ocean did in fact have a “depth”!!
Furthermore, in the same verse, a completely separate proof exists; for to the ancient mind, the idea of a “spring” in the midst of the sea was unthinkable and illogical. Why would there be water pouring INTO the sea from underground – the sea is where water came from! And mankind for all his technological achievements didn’t discover underwater springs until 1949 – A.D.! Almost four millennium after Job was written! And even then, it wasn’t confirmed until 1960, and it wasn’t until 1979 that human beings first saw deep-sea springs with their own eyes! No one but God could possibly have known they existed four thousand years ago!
Job 38:18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
Man didn’t measure the circumference (“breadth”) of the Earth with even remote accuracy until Eratosthenes did it in about 240 BC. But God knew exactly how large it was. For He sits “above the circle of it”.
Job 38:19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
Until roughly the time of Newton, no one knew that there was a “way” where light “dwells” – that is, a direction where light comes from. Photons, the particles that carry and, for all practical purposes, are light, weren’t discovered until Einstein. The ancient Greeks, arguably the most scientifically advanced of the ancient cultures, believed what we perceived as light was actually “feeling rays” sent by the eye to “look” at the objects, which reflected them and made a picture.
None of the Greeks seemed to realize that the idea begged the question of why we couldn’t see in the dark. And they had had the clearest ideas on light to date! Well… except for what God wrote in Job, a thousand years before. Only God knew there was a place where light came from 4,000 years ago.
No one really hit on the right idea – except in Job – until about 1000 A.D when the Arabic mathematician Alhazen realized the flaws in the Greek thinking. And it took another 500 years for his ideas to influence Europe through men like Galileo and Newton. And we didn’t REALLY start to understand it until a century ago.
Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
According to everyone before 570 BC, the Earth was flat. Even then, and for millennia afterwards, the Earth was held up by something. For the Greeks it was on the shoulders of the god Atlas. For the American Indians it was supported on the back of a giant turtle. Other cultures believed it was on the back of a hog, water buffalo, snake, or elephant. These ideas had the delightful side-benefit of explaining earthquakes, since it logically follows the theory that if Earth was on an elephant’s back and the elephant itched, the Earth would move.
The idea of the Earth literally hanging on NOTHING – as in, an Earth in free-fall through space – was one that no ancient mind could have grasped. Newton’s famous “apple incident” gave us the first real clue as to how gravity operated to control bodies at great distances. But 3500 years ago?
Only God could have known. This constitutes the first solid proof that the God of the Bible exists. Not just a need for Him to exist, but a demonstrated scientific proof that a Being wiser than man who knew things no man could possibly have known, existed. And that the Bible reveals that Being.
Chapter 2: A Worldwide Flood
One of the crowning events in the Bible, one that, for all its darkness, shows God’s power, is the Great Flood. If this did not happen, then the Bible is in error, and if one part of the Bible is wrong, then the entire Bible may well be wrong. On the other hand, if it DID happen, then it is another feather in God’s cap, proving He just might be real.
Genesis 7:19-23 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. … and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, … All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. … and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
This is God’s version. So did this happen? Was there a world-wide flood? Let’s ask the ancient East Indians, as quoted in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: (Deluge article)
“The Indian [flood] tradition exists in several forms. The earliest is preserved in the Satapatha Brahmana. It is there related that Manu, the first man, the son of the sun-god Vivasvat, found, in bathing, small fish, … it revealed to Manu the time of the flood, and bade him construct a ship for his deliverance. When the time came, Manu, unaccompanied, went on board; …”
More details are added in another version, the Mahabharata, where “Manu, … embarks with the seven rishis, or wise men, and takes with him all kinds of seed. The fish announces himself as the God Brahman…”. (Ibid)
The similarity to the Biblical flood legend is obvious; one righteous man commanded by God to build a boat, then later seven other people get into the boat to escape a flood, after being warned by God one week in advance (see Genesis 7:10), taking with them seeds to repopulate the Earth, and a third version adds that animals were also taken. We find the same details, and more, in the more famous Babylonian epic, Gilgamesh.
The Epic of Gilgamesh was written perhaps as early as 2100 BC, and on Tablet XI it talks of the story of Utnapishtim, which means “He who found life” – I.E., the man who was saved from the flood. You can read this yourself on Tablet XI, which is all over the internet, but to summarize it says
“When their heart led the great gods to produce the flood”, they told Utnapishtim, who plays the part of Noah in this version, “Tear down (this) house, build a ship! Give up possessions, seek your life. Despise property and keep the soul alive. Aboard the ship take the seed of all living things.” So Utnapishtim did, then after loading the boat…
“…the south-storm blew, gathering speed as it blew, submerging the mountains, …[later after the rain stopped] I looked about for coast lines in the expanse of the sea … On Mount Nisir the ship came to a halt. … I sent forth and set free a dove. The dove went forth, but came back; There was no resting-place for it and she turned round. [then he sent forth a swallow, then a raven, and the raven didn’t return because the waters had receded]”
Afterwards, Utnapishtim held a sacrifice (cf Genesis 8:20), and then one of the Gods came and blessed the survivors. The similarities between that and Genesis are astounding; mountains covered, the three birds released, the forewarning to build a ship, seeds and animals taken, ship resting on a mountain, etc.
Yet another legend comes from Ancient Sumer: “The Sumerian [flood] myth tells how the god Enki warns Ziusudra … of the gods’ decision to destroy mankind in a flood … Enki instructs Ziusudra to build a large boat … After which he is left to repopulate the earth, as in many other flood myths.” – Wikipedia, article “deluge”
In that version, Ziusudra equates to the Biblical Noah. But the Greeks have their own legend, where the king of the gods, Zeus, became angry with mankind and destroyed them with a flood – but not before Prometheus warned Deucalion (Noah) to build a large wooden chest. The entire earth was flooded, excepting only Mount Olympus, where the gods lived, and Mount Parnassus, where the wooden box eventually rested. Only Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha were saved, and by them the earth was repopulated at Zeus’ command. Romans have an almost identical legend.
The ancient Toltecs of Mexico had a legend that earth was destroyed by a flood and only one family survived. Incas have a legend where two brothers were warned by llamas that a flood was coming, so they hid with their families and herds in a high mountain cave, then rain fell for months drowning everything else that lived. The mountain magically grew taller to escape the flood, then restored to normal size afterwards.
There are several different legends throughout China and Asia, but the common themes of a man and woman (sometimes with their children) being saved in a boat from a worldwide flood brought on by sin and divine justice, landing on a mountain and repopulating the Earth are in most of them.
There are literally HUNDREDS of different flood legends from all over the world. And the geological evidence in favor of a great flood is also overwhelming, but I’ll stick to cultural evidence for now. The bottom line is, almost every single culture on earth, no matter how disconnected, has a flood legend, most of which have these same events, though naturally colored by local myths and deities and with some details lost and others added. So every culture on Earth “remembers” a single great flood. But the world doesn’t want to believe it… so they don’t.
The logic is similar to a 10-year-old child believing that WWII never happened. Why? Because He hadn’t been there when it happened. Sure, there are movies and books and stories about it, but HE DIDN’T SEE IT HIMSELF. Therefore, it didn’t happen! Every culture on Earth tells you of an ancient, worldwide flood, but YOU didn’t see it, therefore it didn’t happen. How scientific is that?
Chapter 3: Fulfilled Prophecy
In the Bible God gives us several ways we can test Him and prove His existence. And the biggest way is fulfilled prophecy. God stakes His claim to Godhood on the assertion that He knows what will happen before it happens. So does He?
Most agree the book of Isaiah was written around 700-800 B.C., over 200 years before Babylon captured Judah and took the Jews into captivity in 585 B.C., after which Babylon was captured by Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C., who returned the Jews to their homeland.
And yet Isaiah prophesied of every one of those things, even calling Cyrus BY NAME, 200 years before he was born!
Isaiah 45:1, 4 (BBE) The Lord says to the man of his selection, to Cyrus, whom I have taken by the right hand, putting down nations before him, and taking away the arms of kings; … I have sent for you by name, giving you a name of honour, though you had no knowledge of me.
God is claiming responsibility for Cyrus’ successes, claiming that he gave Cyrus the power to subdue those nations. All hundreds of years before it happened.
Verses 5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God but me: I will make you ready for war, though you had no knowledge of me: So that they may see from the east and from the west that there is no God but me: I am the Lord, and there is no other.
God stakes His claim on being the ONLY God on prophecies like this; this is how God wants you to PROVE that He IS the only God! Has Buddha prophesied of the rise of great world leaders hundreds of years in advance? No. Only God has. And this is just the beginning.
Isaiah 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
This again prophesies of a specific thing that Cyrus did, in sending people back to Israel, rebuilding Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple. At the time Isaiah was written, it was unthinkable that the temple would be destroyed, much less rebuilt. And yet history records that Cyrus did in fact send the Jews back to Judea and began the restoration process.
Isaiah 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.
Not only that, but Cyrus did this for FREE! He had no outside motivation, no riots or rebellions or bribes coerced him to return the Jews to their homeland, and in fact Cyrus GAVE the Jews MONEY to rebuild the city! Lots of it! (See Ezra 1). So God saw all this coming.
Now scholars generally admit that Isaiah was written 200 years before Cyrus, but since they don’t want to admit that the Bible is RELIABLE, they try to find ways not to believe it. So some of them say these verses were written much later. Not only is their evidence flimsy, but if you’ll bear with me you’ll see that answer won’t hold up for most prophecies.
Chapter 4: Daniel
Daniel is widely criticized, and skeptics date it to around 168 B.C., even though the book itself claims to cover the timespan from 585-539 BC. The reason they criticize it is not because of any actual evidence, and the book “Daniel in the Critic’s Den” by Josh McDowell is a powerful proof that it was indeed written in the 6th century B.C. – but because the prophecies are SO specific, and so accurate, critics feel Daniel MUST be a fake – somehow!
So let’s see what those prophecies are. In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a nightmare, then woke up and couldn’t remember it (Daniel 2:1). So he demanded that his magicians, astrologers, and religious-types tell him what the dream was, and what it meant. They responded that there was no magician who could explain what a dream meant, if they didn’t even know what the dream was! (vs. 10).
Well, to make a long story short, Daniel prayed and then dreamed the same dream and then the interpretation. Again, for the sake of space (read the full story in Daniel 2), we’ll make the long story short: the king dreamed of a statue, with a gold head, silver chest and arms, brass waist and thighs, iron legs, and feet and toes of iron and clay. Then this statue was broken by a huge stone which fell from the sky and then became a huge mountain (verses 31-35). Then Daniel explained it as follows:
Daniel 2:37 (NKJV) “You, O king, are a king of kings. … you are this head of gold.
So the head of that statue represented Nebuchadnezzar, and his kingdom of Babylon.
Verse 39 (NKJV) “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
So later a second world-ruling kingdom, made of silver, would arise; and so the Medo-Persian empire captured Babylon in 539 and ruled the known world for over 200 years. And like the statue’s chest, the Medo-Persian empire had two arms – the Medes and the Persians.
The third kingdom of bronze was Greece headed by Alexander the Great. He destroyed the Medo-Persian empire in 331 B.C., and ruled from India to Egypt, and everything in between. The largest empire yet. Exactly as Daniel prophesied.
Verse 40 (NKJV) “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
And in 197 B.C. Philip of Macedon (Greece) was defeated by Rome. Each of these kingdoms was larger, crueler, and tougher than the previous. Just as gold is soft, silver less so, brass still less, and iron… well, iron is hard. And Rome was the toughest, roughest, and cruelest of those empires.
These were the only four world ruling kingdoms since the time of Daniel. If there had been 7 or 14 or 2, Daniel would be a lie. But there weren’t. There were exactly 4, and Daniel is correct. Now the critics will tell you “of course Daniel was correct! He must have written this book around 150 B.C., so it had already happened! It wasn’t prophecy, it was history!” – and that’s the same thing they said about Isaiah.
So let’s say they are correct. They aren’t, but let’s say Daniel WAS written in 150 B.C., for the sake of argument. Then what about the prophecies Daniel made that were fulfilled… AFTER 150 B.C.! For the prophecy didn’t end with the destruction of Greece by the Romans. For as there were two arms signifying two divisions of the Medo-Persian Empire, so two legs signified the two divisions of the ROMAN empire! Something that didn’t happen until around 400 A.D.! Daniel couldn’t have seen THAT coming in 150 B.C.!
Verse 41 (NKJV) “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, THE KINGDOM SHALL BE DIVIDED; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
Rome was the ETERNAL city! No one thought it would EVER be divided! And yet it WAS, over 500 years after the worst skeptics claim Daniel was written! Now THAT is a proof that God inspired Daniel!
But Daniel is just getting started! In Daniel 7, Daniel sees a vision of 4 terrible beasts; I won’t get into the details here but this just a different version of the prophecy we just read, told in different symbols. The first three beasts are the first three kingdoms. But look at the last beast:
Daniel 7:7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had TEN HORNS.
Now remember the kingdom in Daniel 2:40 was “strong as iron”, just as this beast is. That beast “broke in pieces” and “shattered everything”, just as this beast does. That beast trampled – crushed – the rest of the nations. Just as this one does. And notice that it had ten horns, just as the image had ten toes.
But what do these horns mean? Daniel didn’t know (verses 15-19)! So he asked and an angel explained to him:
Verse 23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces.
See, God’s prophesies explain themselves! They don’t need us to explain them, or make up explanations – He tells us right there what these symbols mean! This is the fourth kingdom He referred to in Daniel 2, the Roman empire! Now He tells us what these ten horns are!
Verse 24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings.
So there are ten kings – ten empires – that will arise, one after another, out of the Roman Empire. And guess what! History records exactly 9 kingdoms since the fall of the Roman Empire! Please, check these facts for yourself! Count the times that the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire has occurred. You’ll find it’s nine. But after the fall of Rome, three civil kingdoms rose (the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths) in its place, and then a different kingdom, a religious kingdom, came to power. Never before had a religion held sway over a world government like the Catholic Church, and the Pope began to wield power over the Holy Roman Empire for the next millennium. This was the “little horn” that was “different” from the others and “subdued three kings”.
Daniel 7:8 “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, A LITTLE ONE, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out BY THE ROOTS. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
After the fall of Rome in 476 A.D., it was captured in turn by the Vandals, Heruli, Ostrogoths – that’s three kings. None of those kingdoms acknowledged the Papacy, they were so-called “barbarian” nations, and so at the pope’s direction, those first three nations were all wiped out. They don’t exist today. They were PLUCKED UP by the ROOTS and are now 100% GONE!
PLEASE, CHECK YOUR HISTORY! Make certain that this is true, because if it is, it means that Daniel predicted EXACTLY how many kingdoms would rise and fall, in what order, and predicted the rise of the Catholic Church – all THOUSANDS of years before it happened! And since no mortal man could have known this, only a GOD could have known!
After those first three kingdoms, Justinian restored the Holy Roman Empire and placed the pope at it’s head. Then followed, to date, five more resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire; Charlemange, Otto the Great, Charles the Great, Napoleon and Garibaldi. Counting Justinian, that makes SIX since the “little horn” destroyed the first three kings, for a total of NINE kings to date – and the tenth kingdom is even now forming in Europe.
But back to the little horn for a moment. It had “a mouth speaking pompous words.” To continue later in Daniel 7, where these symbols are explained, he says:
Daniel 7:25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
The Pope claims to be God on Earth. He claims that he has the power to bind and loose, and to change any law and any rule that he wishes. He claims to be infallible and all-powerful, able to supercede even what God in heaven says. What more “pompous words” could a man speak than those?
And this pope and the government he ruled or influenced, persecuted and often killed anyone who would not acknowledge his authority. Anyone who believed God instead of the Pope was persecuted and killed. History shows that the Catholic Church tortured and killed between 50 and 150 MILLION people. It was “persecuting the Saints”, anyone who bowed the knee to God and not the Pope.
The Catholic Church has changed laws and times on many occasions – to quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 4, p. 153 “The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week to the first made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.”
The Catholic Church freely admits that they moved the day of worship from Saturday, as commanded in the Bible, to Sunday. They also deleted the second commandment (compare any Catholic version of the ten commandments to the real commandments in Exodus 20:3-17 – #2 is missing and #10 is split into two parts). The pope was “changing times and laws” – exactly as Daniel had foreseen over a THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE IT HAPPENED!
DO NOT BELIEVE THIS! Dig out your history books and compare what THEY say to what DANIEL said. You’ll find it matches PERFECTLY, and if it doesn’t, reject it! But if it does, then an honest scientific researcher would admit that God DOES exist!
You’ll find that there were THREE kingdoms that were completely obliterated by a “little kingdom”, the Catholic Church, and that since then there have been SIX kingdoms that obeyed the Church, and right on schedule a seventh is coming on now in Europe! When it is complete Daniel’s prophecy will have been fulfilled, and all that will be left is for Jesus Christ, to come and break in pieces the power of all these nations and rule them Himself!
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Every other prophecy Daniel made in Chapter 2 and 7 of His book has come to pass PERFECTLY, just as He said it would – although often thousands of years after he made the prophecy! Doesn’t it stand to reason that this one will come to pass just as the others did? Isn’t that true science?
Chapter 5: Prophecies of Technology
Man has been on this Earth if the Bible is to be believed for six thousand years, and reliable history only goes back about four thousand. In all of that time, man has learned how to use hammers and axes, spears and the wheel; but that’s all. There was no electricity, no internal combustion, no printing press. Very few places had the technology for indoor plumbing!
Five hundred years ago things were as they had always been. Then suddenly, knowledge EXPLODED. The printing press. The new world. The planets. Shipping. Exploration. Trade. A few hundred years went by and suddenly we had steam engines and industrialization; then steamships and locomotives and, when our great-grandparents were born, the car had not been invented. We often lose track of how much mankind has advanced in these last five centuries. Even in the last thirty years, we went from computers that filled a room to this laptop I am writing on. To where my cell phone has more computing power than all the computers in the world in 1970. To say nothing of the internet.
No one could have predicted in say, the time of the founding of Egypt, that one day we would have the internet. Technology advanced at, to us, a painful pace; being lost in many cases as fast as it was built. Rome was able to make concrete, an art that was lost for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Technology did not make a steady upward climb through the ages, and no one could have foreseen the level of technology we have today, where you can make a living from your laptop, running a company in the USA from Ecuador, buy groceries over the air waves through internet beamed to your house, and have practically everything done for you. But God saw this coming.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Never in history have so many “run to and fro” in cars, buses, subways, planes; always in the past, life has been about being in one place tending your business and taking care of your farm, and only a few Marco Polos who traveled the world on the back of a mule; Now for about a week’s wages I can hop a plane to Cancun for an all-expense-paid weekend at the beach.
God could have known that knowledge would be increased as never before. Man could only have guessed that it would happen – and not in a long, gradual, uphill struggle, but tediously, frustratingly, until BOOM the age of discovery opened up the floodgates of knowledge.
In the time of Alexander the Great, it was impossible – sheerly, literally unthinkable – to wipe out all life on Earth. Now we can do it so many times over, and in so many exciting (!) ways, that we have ceased to even be impressed by it as our parents were. We take it for granted. But a hundred, two hundred years ago it was unconceivable to affect the entire globe at once; for any army, any phenomenon, to wipe out all life on Earth. But all of this was prophesied in the Bible, two thousand and more years ago.
Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
In this prophecy of the last days on Earth before the return of Christ, unless God steps in and intervenes it says that ALL LIFE WILL BE DESTROYED! It is now POSSIBLE, and threats of nukes in suitcases from North Korea or Iran or Pakistan or some disgruntled country are always in the news. It will get worse, but it has already PROVED that this prophecy can come true – something starkly unimaginable a few hundred years ago!
Chapter 6: Tyre
Tyre was a city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in modern day Lebanon. “It was the chief city of Phoenicia, the chief market of the East, a very microcosm or epitome of the whole world…”(John Trapp’s Commentary). In many ways the world revolved around Tyre, and she knew it. Every item of any importance was traded through Tyre; grain, ivory, wood, gems, gold, technology, spices; everything. All the nations of the western world came to Tyre to buy and sell at an ancient version of the stock exchange.
Historians frequently compare Tyre to New York City; they were more alike than you might think; Tyre, too was built on an island, perfectly situated to be a great port; but part of the town spilled over onto the mainland. Because of the lack of space on the island portion of Tyre, they built some of the tallest buildings in the world at the time, literal sky-scrapers at least eight stories, perhaps as high as twenty stories tall, years before the first brick was laid in the foundation of Rome! Eventually the city grew, so a wall was built to keep back the sea and the island was enlarged to accommodate even more trade.
It was not prone to revolution, stable politically, and fantastically wealthy. Of course, all this wealth regularly attracted invaders, but they were NEVER successful in capturing Tyre – it had never been captured in fifteen hundred years of existence. Whenever it was attacked, the inhabitants fled to the island, where a massive wall a hundred and fifty feet high, and the sea itself kept out invaders.
So now imagine that New York City had been standing fifteen hundred years; imagine that it was alone – no competition from London, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Los Angeles; that it was the absolute pinnacle of civilization, and you can imagine Tyre in her heyday. And then imagine that a man was to say “New York will be utterly destroyed in fifteen years, and it will NEVER be rebuilt!” – could you believe that? Of course not! How could any man know? No one could possibly predict that such a city would be captured, after so many had tried!
But even if it were captured, it would certainly be rebuilt as soon as the dust settled; after all, it was geographically the best location; perfect for docking large boats, perfect for shipping or receiving from inland; everything would lead it to be built again, if not by the Phoenicians, then by someone.
But it wasn’t. It was destroyed, and it has never, TO THIS DAY, been rebuilt! No man could have made that happen. No man could predicted the utter and complete destruction, and KNOWN for certain, and pronounced with AUTHORITY that TYRE WOULD FALL! But the BIBLE said it would. And it predicted exactly HOW it would happen! Only if it were inspired by a God could it have possibly foretold the future so accurately!
Now judge for yourself; did God accurately predict what would happen with the city of Tyre for the next 2600 years? Is the Bible an AUTHORITY, written by an all-powerful being who RULES the Earth, or is it just a 2000 year old storybook? Here are the facts:
Ezekiel 26:3-6 (RSV) therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers; and I will scrape her soil from her, and make her a bare rock. She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD; and she shall become a spoil to the nations;
Notice all the DETAILS that God puts in that prophecy! A fortuneteller always gives VAGUE information that can be interpreted many ways, like a fortune cookie. But God gives DETAILS!
- He says that He will bring not one, but MANY nations against Tyre, like waves of a sea; that is, one after the other – not all at once. And it would be spoiled by many nations, not just one!
- That the walls, the towers, and the very SOIL will be scraped off of the island. She will be a bare rock when God is done!
- Fishermen will spread their nets on Tyre (something that was never done because Tyre was a merchant city, not a fishing village! It would be like spreading out your nets on wall street, or Times square!)
Ezekiel 26:7 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers.
Now God even starts naming names! This prophecy was written in 585 B.C. Remember that Tyre was a divided city; that is, part of it was on the main land and part of it was on an island. This enabled both land and sea trade. Now look carefully at the next details:
Verse 8 HE will slay with the sword your daughters on the MAINLAND; HE will set up a siege wall against you, and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you.
Skeptics say that since Nebuchadnezzar never took the island of Tyre, Ezekiel totally missed the mark on this one; but Ezekiel never SAID Nebuchadnezzar would take the island! He said he would take the MAINLAND, which is exactly what he did!
In the next three verses, Ezekiel foretells that “HIS battering rams will break down the walls … HIS axes will break down the towers … HIS horses … HIS wagons … He will enter the gates … HE will slay …” and so on. But notice in all those verses, the word “they” is not used once. This is very important! Every prophecy about Nebuchadnezzar here uses the word HE. Then suddenly in verse twelve the entire tone changes:
Verse 12 THEY will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise; THEY will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; your stones and timber and soil THEY will cast into the midst of the waters.
Did you see? THEY will make a spoil… THEY will break the walls… THEY will destroy the houses … THEY will cast the stones and timber and soil into the ocean! Not “he”, Nebuchadnezzar, but “THEY” the many nations! Critics love to contend that Ezekiel was WRONG because Nebuchadnezzar didn’t destroy the island of Tyre and, after a thirteen-year-long siege and the destruction of the mainland, went away settling for a hefty yearly tax from Tyre. They even contend that Ezekiel admitted he failed in this verse:
Ezekiel 29:18 … Nebuchadrezzar … had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
When Nebuchadnezzar began to siege the mainland, all items of real wealth were evacuated to the island where they were more secure. So when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the mainland city he didn’t get his hands on the rich wealth of Tyre, and had to settle for a tax; Was Ezekiel wrong? Read the prophecy again, closely… God never SAID that Nebuchadnezzar would do those things!
Remember back in Ezekiel 26:3-4 God had said “I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. THEY shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers;” God never intended to accomplish the destruction of Tyre by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar; only the mainland was to be destroyed by “HIM”! The rest was to be destroyed and spoiled by “THEY”, the “many nations” God had said would do it!
But the skeptic never rests; he simply says “fine then; so Ezekiel was right; it just means that it was a fake prophecy, one that was written after the events actually happened, in say 500 B.C. … ” – and for them God has an answer: Alexander the Great. For 250 years after Nebuchadnezzar left Tyre, it seemed as if Ezekiel had called it wrong; the city seemed to be doing as good as ever. But then came the rising Greek empire led by Alexander the Great in an unstoppable wave that ended up conquering the known world.
Alexander was willing to have peace with Tyre, but Tyre, although they claimed good intentions, rejected Alexander’s request for a sacrifice at their temple, then killed his ambassadors; needless to say this made Alexander peevish. But so great was their pride they believed themselves unconquerable.
Alexander was a brilliant strategist and not one to give up; his armies demolished the mainland city of Tyre, now known as “Old Tyre” easily enough, but he couldn’t touch the island, called “New Tyre”. Sheer walls rising out of deep water, too far from shore for the artillery of the day to make a difference, and bristling with defenses against an attack by ship.
But Alexander asked himself, why couldn’t anyone conquer Tyre? Because it was on an island. What was the logical solution? Make it not be an island anymore! So Alexander’s armies built a 200 foot-wide, half-mile-long causeway out the debris from Old Tyre, under constant threat of attack from behind the walls of New Tyre.
It took him seven months. The Tyrians at first laughed at his attempt, rowing out in boats to taunt the Greeks. After the causeway was finished and Alexander conquered the city leaving 8,000 dead from battle, 2,000 executed afterwards, and 30,000 sold into slavery … they weren’t laughing. In the effort, only 400 Greeks died.
“Alexander did far more against Tyre than Shalmaneser or Nebuchadnezzar had done. Not content with crushing her, he took care that she never should revive; for he founded Alexandria as her substitute, and changed forever the track of the commerce of the world.” (Edward Creasy, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World).
Alexander so thoroughly destroyed Tyre that the wall was broken down; the sea rushed back over the land that had been reclaimed. The buildings were broken down. The timbers were cast into the sea. Exactly as God had foretold hundreds of years before!
Ezekiel 26:12 (BBE) THEY will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise; THEY will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; your stones and timber and soil THEY will cast into the midst of the waters.
Verse 19 For this is what the Lord has said: I will make you a waste town, like the towns which are unpeopled; when I make the deep come upon you, covering you with great waters.
The detail prophesying that the town of New Tyre would be covered with water could not possibly be known by a fallible, mortal human! I could not predict that Manhattan would be covered by the Atlantic! But Ezekiel made prophecies far more astounding than that! The skeptic would love to reject this, but he can’t explain it away as a late “post-history prophecy”, because THE PROPHECY IS STILL BEING FULFILLED, AS YOU READ THIS!
Ezekiel 26:14 I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets; YOU SHALL NEVER BE REBUILT; for I the LORD have spoken, says the Lord GOD.
The sheer AUTHORITY of someone speaking in the first person, saying “I AM GOD”, “I will make this happen!” God said that Tyre would NEVER be rebuilt – and to this day, 2350 years later, it never has been!
Despite its prime location and excellent fertility nearby no one ever rebuilt a city on the site of New Tyre! A small village called Tyre was built on the causeway that Alexander had built – but nothing has EVER been built on the site of the city upon which ETERNAL destruction was pronounced by ALMIGHTY GOD!
New Tyre was located in the south-west corner of the island; the city built after it’s destruction was situated on the causeway that Alexander the great had built – new land, not on the land cursed by God to be forever barren like the top of a rock! It continued there, a minor port rather inconsequential in history until even that was destroyed by the Muslims after the fall of Acre. Today a small new town, called “Sur” is on the peninsula; it has no connection to the ancient town, and the site of the ancient ruins are now protected as a global heritage site, never to be built upon.
Could any human have KNOWN, with such acute detail, what would happen 2500 years later? Are such things in the books of Hinduism, or Confucius? Do Mayan writings tell of the eternal fall of empires such as Tyre? Only the God of the Bible is truly a God. Prophecy is one of the most sure ways of proving it. Everything I said can be verified in a few minutes in an encyclopedia – check it for yourself! Compare what history records and what God said so long ago!
No one could have possibly predicted in such minute detail that Tyre would be destroyed, but Ezekiel, inspired by an authoritative God who KNEW what would happen, predicted it down to the letter! Alexander, against all odds, DID destroy Tyre completely! He wiped out the city, broke down the walls, and today you can look on Google Earth and see the ruins of Tyre STILL COVERED BY WATER! You can go to Lebanon right now and snorkel amongst the fallen stones of that greatest of ancient cities, still laying as they were cast into the ocean by a vengeful Greek conquerer 300 years after God foretold it! After 2350 years, you can STILL behold PROOF of the inspiration of the Bible!
Chapter 7: Sidon
But Tyre is only one small example. Tyre’s sister city, about thirty miles up the coast, was called Sidon (sometimes spelled Zidon). Now all evidence to the contrary, some skeptics will try to say that Ezekiel wrote about Tyre around 350 B.C., or maybe even 330 B.C.; As I showed in the previous section, that doesn’t hold water since the prophecy is being fulfilled right now, but let’s humor them for a moment; those skeptics fail to take into account that the same prophet in the same section of the same book wrote prophecies about Sidon as well!
Sidon did not enjoy the security of Tyre; she had been frequently raided over the years. Then in 351 B.C., she was COMPLETELY destroyed for rebelling against the Persian dominance. Now do you suppose that in say, 350 B.C., a human fortuneteller could have “guessed” that Tyre would NEVER rise again after her destruction, but that Sidon, a far less enviable or powerful city, would NOT be permanently destroyed – even though, at that time, there WAS no city of Sidon? Of course not! But that’s exactly what Ezekiel, under the inspiration of God, did!
Ezekiel 28:21-22 Son of man, let your face be turned to Zidon, and be a prophet against it, and say, These are the words of the Lord: See, I am against you, O Zidon; and I will get glory for myself in you: and they will be CERTAIN that I am the Lord, when I send my punishments on her, and I will be seen to be holy in her.
Do you SEE that? God says that He is angry with Zidon, and when they – that is, YOU, see that God has sent the punishments on her that He prophesied so long ago, that YOU will be CERTAIN that HE IS THE LORD!
Verse 23 And I will send on her disease and blood in her streets; and the wounded will be falling in the middle of her, and the SWORD will be against her on EVERY SIDE; and they will be CERTAIN that I am the Lord.
God prophesied disease, blood, wars from every side, so that YOU can be CERTAIN that HE IS GOD! This is how you can KNOW! Did this happen? If you’d picked a city at random, you couldn’t know that this would happen! You couldn’t predict that a city that DID NOT exist in 350 B.C. would rise again, and suffer such constant strife!
History shows that God was right, however. While Tyre was never rebuilt, Sidon was often attacked, destroyed and rebuilt. In fact, you would be hard put to find any city – except Jerusalem – that has gone through more suffering and bloodshed than Sidon. Of Sidon during the time of the Crusades, Eiselen writes “the city was throughout the entire period a bone of contention between the warring parties; back and forth it passed between Christians and Moslems, until at the close of the struggle it remained with the latter, a ruin.”
In 1902, M. Angel visited Sidon and stated “I have visited the most ancient quarters of Jerusalem and Damascus, but there I have never seen a semblance of the aspect of desolation and decay which Sidon presents, a little village, almost ignored by tourists, to which modern civilization has not yet penetrated”.
Even today, the region is frequently in the news. Could Ezekiel, if not inspired by an all-powerful deity, have possibly been able to guess that this would happen? Had he picked a city at random, it might have been destroyed utterly as many middle eastern cities were; still other cities managed to avoid most of the bloodshed. No, no scientific mind can accept that Ezekiel, by himself, could have so accurately predicted with such detail the fate of Tyre and Sidon.
Space fails me to go into all of the fulfilled prophecies in the bible – Ashkelon, the Phillistines, Ammon, Edom, Gaza, Ekron, and the others; or the New Testament prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., or the prophecies that were fulfilled about the cities of Laodicea and Ephesus and the others; much more can be said about fulfilled prophecy than can be said in this booklet, so I will only mention one more profound example;
Chapter 8: Egypt
Egypt is one of the oldest cultures on Earth. Throughout Biblical times it was a leader of the nations. It was on a par with Babylon as the oldest, greatest nation. The Pyramids which were built over four thousand years ago stood as the tallest man-made structures in the world for well over three millennia.
Though dynasties rose and fell and Egypt had a drought or plague occasionally, in general it was the longest running, most stable country in the world, ensured a place of power forever throughout the nations. So they liked to boast at the time of the writing of Ezekiel and Jeremiah (about 585 B.C.). At the time, Pharoah Hophra (called Apries in Greek) was ruling Egypt; his successes had made the country very prosperous at the time. Herodotus said Hophra was quoted as saying that “not even a God could depose Him”. (Histories, Volume 2, 169)
He had every reason to believe this. Herodotus stated that except for his father, “there was no earlier king who was more fortunate than Apries”. No man could have possibly foreseen the downfall of this great nation, and if one dynasty were to fall, another would surely replace it. Now most of the time when men mouth off at God, He lets them bluster; but once in awhile God has chosen to intervene in the lives of high-profile people in history to show that He’ll only tolerate just so much insult. And it was so with Pharoah Hophra, and with Egypt.
Jeremiah 44:29 And this shall be a sign unto you, saith the LORD, that I will punish you in this place, that ye may KNOW that my words shall surely stand against you for evil:
Again, God is staking His claim on EXISTING, and on BEING GOD, on prophecies like this!
Verse 30 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.
As you probably guessed, it happened just like this; Hophra was dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar less than twenty years later. Ezekiel, writing hundreds of miles away in Babylon from the captivity, added more information to the same prophecy:
Ezekiel 29:8-9 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will bring a sword upon you and cut off from you man and beast. And the land of Egypt shall become desolate and waste; then they will know that I am the LORD, because he [Pharoah Hophra] said, ‘The River is mine, and I have made it.’
This mere man, Pharaoh, had claimed that HE was practically a God himself; that no God could dethrone him, and he was more powerful than any deity! But he learned the hard way that He was not! Again, the skeptic scoffs, saying “just another prophecy written after the fact! Big deal!” … And I’ll humor them, even though all the evidence is to the contrary. Let’s say it WAS written after Pharoah was destroyed. Let’s read some more about the future of Egypt, as foretold 2600 years ago. In verse 12, God says He will scatter the Egyptians 40 years, after which…
Ezekiel 29:14-15 “I will bring back the captives of Egypt and cause them to return to the land of Pathros, to the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom. IT SHALL BE THE LOWLIEST OF KINGDOMS; it shall NEVER AGAIN exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over the nations anymore.”
If Egypt was to be destroyed, FINE, perhaps someone could have guessed; if Egypt was to continue to thrive as it always had, perhaps someone could have guessed; but no one could have foreseen that Egypt was to continue to exist, and NEVER, in 2600 years be an important world power again!
But God has more details to add! This is not some fortuneteller saying “you will go on a long journey soon”, this is GOD, giving FACTS and DETAILS about the future, things we can use as PROOF that God exists! Proof to silence the skeptics and the atheists, proof that a SCIENTIFIC mind can grab hold of and BELIEVE!
Ezekiel 30:12 And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.
When Egypt had problems in the past, it was almost always INTERNAL problems; a new dynasty, a civil war, that sort of thing; But God now says to this proud country that STRANGERS will make the land waste, and that Egypt will be SOLD into their hands!
To this day, Egypt is a poverty stricken country and no one can figure out why; take these excerpts from this news report in Reuters, 10/17/2007, “Poverty Grows In Egypt…”
“The proportion of Egyptians living in absolute poverty has risen despite relatively rapid economic growth this decade … One in every five Egyptians cannot meet their basic living needs …” The article quotes a U.N. Official saying “We’re a bit surprised frankly that this is taking place.”
Despite foreign investment and foreign aid improving the business climate, Egypt still has poverty at frightening levels and rising. 1 in 5 people according to this article cannot afford $1 a day to live. Which is not to say that the majority of the remainder of the population is doing much better. No economist can explain it. But the Bible can explain it. God foretold it two and a half thousand years ago. This is not a new thing – Egypt has been in this situation for thousands of years. Ever since God cursed it.
Verse 13 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE A PRINCE OF THE LAND OF EGYPT: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
Egypt had been ruled by Egyptians for well over sixteen HUNDRED years! But God now foretold that it would NEVER, NEVER AGAIN be ruled by a native prince! Look up the history of Egypt for yourself; It doesn’t matter when Ezekiel and Jeremiah were written, because these prophecies are still being fulfilled THIS VERY DAY! NOW you can see that prophecy is true, because there has NEVER, in twenty-six HUNDRED YEARS, been a native ruler of Egypt!
After Nebuchadnezzar demolished Egypt, plundering it’s wealth as God predicted, Babylon fell and the area was then under Persian rule. Despite regular revolt in Egypt, none was successful and they were forced to continue to submit to Persian rule. Then the Greeks took over, and one of Alexander’s generals, Ptolemy, began a dynasty of FOREIGN, GREEK PHAROAHS! Not EGYPTIANS! Cleopatra was a descendant of the GREEK general of Alexander!
But still in the time of Christ Egypt, though ruled by foreigners, was a wealthy nation; the breadbasket of Rome. Even had someone prophesied THEN that it would become the basest of nations, no one would have believed! But it did!
The Roman empire took over Egypt, then it fell under the control of Muslims, then Turks, then the French, British, and now finally it is a republic; remember King Farouk? He was not Egyptian – he was ALBANIAN! In all this time, NO NATIVE PRINCE HAS EVER RULED EGYPT!
For perhaps two thousand years, Egypt was ruled by absolute monarchs from their own people; then God makes ONE prophecy, and for 2600 years it has NEVER had a single native monarch! Only GOD could have made such a prophecy come to pass! ONLY if God EXISTS can we see prophecies fulfilled, time and time again with such vivid clarity as to defy men to disprove them!
Roughly one third of the Bible is devoted to prophecy; less than one tenth of that is devoted to events that are past; most of it is about things that are STILL in our future today! You NEED to know what they say, and what God EXPECTS of you if you are to live through the desperate times prophesied ahead!
Chapter 9: Did Jesus Exist?
“This is all well and good, but if the Bible IS the word of God, then why don’t we have evidence that Jesus existed?”
First I must point out that, despite the fact that most scientists and historians have atheistic leanings, and despite the fact that atheists would in general love to discredit the existence of Jesus at all, the wide majority concede that He did in fact exist. Please research it for yourself. You’ll find that they believe He was only a normal man of course, but they believe that an actual person named Jesus lived in Judea around the time the Bible claims. That by itself says a great deal, since if they could prove He never existed they would gladly do so.
But let’s not take anyone’s opinion at face value; how can we KNOW Jesus existed? It’s a fair question. First let’s ask, what you would accept as evidence? How do you know that anyone existed that you never met personally? Say, Julius Caesar – did he exist? Or Aristotle, or Buddha or Mohammad – you were not there, you cannot possibly find an eyewitness still living that you could ask. You would have to rely on history. Preferably contemporary eyewitnesses.
But history can be a vague subject – some people are mentioned in passing in histories, others write their own books. But as often as not those books were changed by copyists, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally to twist the viewpoint to the copyists idea. So how can you KNOW that a person existed?
We only have two real options; archaeological evidence, and contemporary historians. Archaeology is difficult in this area because people seldom had stones inscribed in their honor unless they were governors, kings, or extremely wealthy; so the odds of finding actual archaeological evidence of Jesus would be slim in any case, particularly since if the Bible is true, Jesus left no body behind for us to unearth. The best we can do is confirm the existence of people in the Biblical record.
Archaeology has done wonders in that area, with solid proof of towns mentioned in the Bible once thought by skeptics to be mythical, artifacts left by Pontius Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, and many other figures and facts have been confirmed. There are references to the apostle Paul throughout all of Asia Minor. And recently a bone-box (called an ossuary) of of Jesus’ brother has been unearthed; despite a massive effort on the part of a few people to prove in court that it is a fake, every evidence still points to it being genuine.
This bone box is dated to A.D. 63. It bears the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”. The James ossuary was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum from November 15, 2002 to January 5, 2003.
The significant part for our case is that it mentions “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”; while Jesus was a common name, it was NOT common for someone to mention “brother of…” on their tombstone. In the absence of last names, ancient cultures usually distinguished between people with the same first names on the basis of their father’s name; as is done here, “James, son of Joseph”. The ONLY reason to mention a brother would be if the brother was well known – perhaps even more well known than the father. The odds of having more than one person from that area named James, with a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus – a famous brother at that – are very slim
This provides a strong evidence of the existence of Jesus. As I said, considering the nature of Jesus as a non-militant leader, disrespected and killed by the people with power in the community, there is very little chance of any direct evidence being found, whether He existed or not; for this, we must rely primarily on history.
But historians, no matter how well intentioned, are always biased. An American history of WWII would be quite different than a German or Japanese version. An American history of WWII written today would be quite different from one written in 1948, because the viewpoint changes with perspective and what is more “popular” to believe at the time. This has been a flaw with history from the very beginning.
All that said, there are two good ways to be sure any historical figure actually existed; lots of eyewitness accounts, saved in as many different copies in as many different places as possible; and accounts by historians who are antagonistic towards the viewpoint. For instance, so what if I say I didn’t commit a crime; of course I could be lying. If my best friend says I didn’t do it, that is a little better, but still – he likes me, and so he might lie too. But if someone who HATES me, someone who would LOVE to see me go to jail, says I’m innocent – well, that’s a strong point in my favor. If HE admits I didn’t do it, with no motive at all, then I probably didn’t do it.
So when a “Christian” says that Jesus existed, well duh! Of course they’d say that! It’s their own viewpoint and to their best interests to say it, true or not! But if a Roman, or a non-believing Jew, or anyone else opposed to Christianity admits that Jesus existed and confirms other events spoken of in the Bible, you would KNOW that Jesus really did exist!
We have plenty of positive witnesses; those who claim Jesus never existed on the grounds that “there are no contemporary accounts” seem to ignore the fact that the Bible wasn’t written by a single person. Luke was there for the events in his gospel and the book of Acts. Matthew, Mark and John all write first-hand accounts of events that happened only twenty to sixty years before that they personally saw. These events were fresh in everyone’s memory. Paul was violently opposed to Christianity before converting and writing most of the new Testament. James, Jude, Peter, all were eyewitnesses and wrote their own separate books. Many times hundreds of other witnesses, still living, are mentioned, for instance in:
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that, he [the resurrected Jesus] was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep [dead].
So let’s be clear; there ARE witnesses to the events in the life of Jesus. But these witnesses were all grouped together in the end of the first century, probably by the apostle John, into one collection we call the New Testament; but saying these are all irrelevant is deceptive and prejudicial. No serious modern historian believes the New Testament was written by the same author, or spuriously compiled by a lunatic in the 5th century. These were separate books, and must be treated as separate accounts, and separate witnesses.
But these witnesses all agree with the principles of Jesus, and so cannot be trusted implicitly, since they had a vested interest in what they record. So let’s find antagonistic witnesses. Josephus was a soldier who lived from 37 A.D., to about 100 A.D. He was not a Christian and was not really interested in Christianity. His principle writings were concerned with a history of the Jews from the earliest times up until his own day, and he only briefly touched upon events in the within the time frame of the life of Jesus.
Still, his writings corroborate the existence of many figures mentioned in the Bible such as Annas and Caiaphas the High Priests; Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, Herod the Great, King Agrippa, as well as confirming the existence of religious sects such as the Sadducees who are mentioned in the Bible. He even speaks of John the Baptist who figured prominently in the Gospels (see Jewish Antiquities book 18, chapter 5, 2). But he has two references which touch on Jesus;
Jewish Antiquities 20.9.1 …so he [Ananus, the high priest “Annas” of the Bible”] assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.
First, note that the wording “the brother of Jesus, named James”. James was the subject, but Jesus was treated as the more “famous” person. James was identified through his relationship with Jesus, just as we might say “the brother of John F. Kennedy, Robert”. What is important is that this is the EXACT SAME WORDING as was used on the Ossuary pictured above! The burial box ALSO dealt with James as someone who was important because of his relationship with his brother, Jesus!
Even skeptics admit that the bulk of this passage is authentic and came to us unchanged from Josephus’ pen. They however claim that the phrase “the so-called Christ” was added by a later copyist. First of all, there is no evidence of this; every copy of Josephus we have access to reads the exact same way. Secondly, if a lone copyist changed this passage, he could hardly have changed every copy in existence at the same time – when they were scattered in libraries across the world.
So there is no evidence that it is an addition. But even if it were, it would have had to be by an antagonist to Christianity, for the use of “so-called” implies that the writer did not believe Jesus was the Christ! But there is simply no motive for an antagonist to ADD proof of Jesus’ existence to a book!
So since the passage is genuine, we see an independent, non-Christian writer, Josephus, confirming that Jesus was “the so-called Christ”, confirming that Jesus did in fact exist, and that James was his brother, and that James and “some others” were in heavy disfavor by the Jewish priesthood – all facts that are in the Bible!
Most importantly, this passage mentions Jesus first. Yet Jesus was not involved in this issue. (He was dead by this time, if the Bible is correct). The only reason to mention Jesus first is that He was a well-known figure, one who claimed to be “the Christ”, a claim which Josephus disbelieved!
The next quote is probably at least partly spurious, since it is different in some early copies available to us, and is widely disputed today. I’ll not go into the debate here since I don’t have space and it really doesn’t matter. The fact is, nearly everyone believes that at least some of it is true, and practically any portion of it proves that Jesus at least existed.
The consensus (if such a word can be applied to any Christian-Atheist debate) is that the bulk of the statement is original, but key portions of it, those which speak of the divinity of Christ, are later additions by copyists; those portions are underlined in brackets in the quote below:
Antiquities 18.3.3 “Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man [if it be lawful to call him a man], for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. [He was the Messiah.] And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him [for he appeared to them alive again at the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him]. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this date.
You can take the quote for what it’s worth and make up your own mind. You might ask, if Jesus did all the things the Bible ascribes to Him, why didn’t Josephus mention more of Him? A better question would be why He said anything at all. For the ten years around Jesus’ death, Josephus devoted only SEVEN pages in two separate books!
Remember, the Bible says Jesus went out of His way on many occasions to avoid notice. He was not trying to get involved in politics, or to encourage the overthrow of Roman rule, although many times His disciples pressured Him to do so. After His miracles, he regularly said “Go and tell no man”, (Matthew 8:4, etc). When He realized the publicity He was getting for baptizing, He moved someplace else (John 4:1-2). He kept a low profile most of the time and seldom made a scene unless He was confronting the priesthood of the Jews – something that the soldier Josephus would not likely have cared about. To quote one passage in the New Testament that sums up His attitude:
Matthew 12:15-19 (Phillips) … Large crowds followed him and he healed them all, with the strict injunction that they should not make him conspicuous by their talk, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: … he shall declare judgment to the gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry aloud; neither shall anyone hear his voice in the streets.
This is why we know of Him primarily through His followers. But we need more than Josephus, and more antagonistic witnesses, so we can be certain Jesus really did exist! The Roman historian Tacitus, with a strong anti-Christian bias, wrote the following early in the second century:
Tacitus, Annals, 15.44 [Nero was being blamed for setting fire to Rome…] Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus [the Latin word for Christ], the founder of the 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 through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also …
This passage is incredibly important, because Tacitus hated Christians and would never confirm their beliefs if there was any doubts that they were true; so when Tacitus says that Pilate condemned Jesus to death in the reign of Tiberius, we can trust that he had no ulterior motive for saying so. He also speaks of the persecution of Christians in Judea, probably that of Saul (who later became Paul) and the Jewish priests written about in the early part of the book of Acts. He then records that the sect revived (probably after the conversion of Paul), and that it spread to Rome – which is recorded in Acts 28:16-31. An independent, antagonistic historian confirming all these facts is quite a support to our belief that Jesus truly existed.
The best part of all is that there is very little doubt among modern historians that this passage is in any way falsified; practically all agree that there is every reason to believe these words came to us direct from Tacitus. And those words said that Pilate killed Jesus Christ in Judea, which started the Christian religion.
There is also a later reference by the historian Pliny that applies to Jesus obliquely, but it isn’t important enough to quote here. Lucian is a critical historian originally from what is now Turkey who wrote in Greek in the mid-second century. For reference, his perspective on Jesus’ execution and the subsequent Christian movement is similar in timeframe to our perspective on World War I. Meaning that most of us have spoken to people who fought in it, or at least knew of it secondhand.
Lucian is a confirmed pagan and tells the story of Peregrinus who became a well respected Christian leader early in the first century, and was revered as a God … “after [or “second to”] that other, to be sure, whom they [the Christians] still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult to the world.” (Lucian, Passing of Peregrinus, 11).
Certainly only one man was ever worshiped by the Christians, the founder of the Christian cult, and crucified in Palestine. Lucian was antagonistic to Christianity and known for rigorously checking his facts. If he had any doubts that Jesus WAS Crucified in Palestine 100 years ago, he would likely have been mocking Christians for being tortured to death for their belief in a myth.
Lucian continues “The poor wretches [Christians] have convinced themselves, first and foremost, that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, in consequence of which they despise death and even willingly give themselves into custody; most of them.
Note how Lucian mocks the “poor wretches” who believe in eternal life and are willing to be imprisoned and even killed for their beliefs!
Furthermore, their first lawgiver [an allusion to Jesus], persuaded them that they are all brothers of one another [compare to Matthew 23:8] after they have transgressed once, for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that CRUCIFIED SOPHIST HIMSELF and living under his laws. Therefore they despise all things indiscriminately and consider them common property, [compare to Acts 4:32] RECEIVING SUCH DOCTRINES TRADITIONALLY WITHOUT ANY DEFINITE EVIDENCE.”
Now notice! Lucian thinks Christianity’s doctrines are foolish! He says they have NO evidence for their doctrines! In other words, they have no proof of an afterlife or the other beliefs – BUT HE SPEAKS TWICE OF JESUS AS CRUCIFIED IN PALESTINE, WITHOUT CASTING THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT ON THE FACT THAT IT HAPPENED!
Lucian says that their doctrines are moronic, but that this man WAS CRUFICIED IN PALESTINE! To quote it again, he said they worshiped “the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult to the world.” – there is not a hint of doubt in those words from this skeptic!
So there must have been every reason to believe Jesus existed, it must have been common knowledge from memories fresh in the minds of every grandparent and great-grandparent – just as we all know about World War I!
Chapter 10: Existence of Jesus More Proof of the Bible
Proof of Jesus having been established, it adds a great deal of weight about the existence of God in general; there are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of prophecies in the old testament that prophesy of the coming of Jesus. No one could have predicted all the things that happened in the New Testament in the times of the Old Testament. Yet everything from the virgin birth to the resurrection was foretold dozens of times in the Old Testament. No wild-eyed group of Hebrew prophets groping for a meaningful existence could have fabricated that, hundreds of years apart from one another and yet agreeing in fine detail to what actually did happen a millennium later!
Chapter 11: WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW THIS?
God is a great God. A powerful God. But a demanding God. He expects something of you. In return He will repay you with more wealth, happiness, and abundant life than you can imagine, but He does absolutely DEMAND certain things from YOU first. If God exists, and if He IS powerful, then what He says MATTERS. It means if He says “thou shalt not steal” – then “thou” had better not “steal”!
But men are selfish. They want their OWN way. Doing things they way THEY like to do them. Admitting that there is a higher power who wants certain things from them means they would be expected to DO those certain things. Not realizing that God isn’t just making these rules up arbitrarily, but that you really would be HAPPIER if you didn’t steal, lie, commit adultery, worship other Gods, and so on, men seek an alternative. A way out from under God’s thumb.
If they accept that God exists, then they must do what so much of religion has done today and reject what He said; say that He didn’t mean what He said, that you don’t have to really OBEY Him, just “BELIEVE” in Him and that makes it all “Ok”. But that isn’t what God said!
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, AND DO NOT THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?
He HATES it when you call Him “Lord” and then ignore what He said. A man came to him asking Him what he had to do to be SAVED, and have ETERNAL LIFE, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” And Jesus answered “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16-17)
He said that if you want to have LIFE, the life He promises to all those that obey Him, you have to KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS! And that just calling Him “Lord” counts for NOTHING!
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven.
You have three options; first, you can believe God exists and obey Him. But if you refuse to obey Him, you have two options left: believe God exists, but believe He doesn’t WANT you do obey Him, and twist what He said to make it seem that way… or believe that He doesn’t exist. I have never seen a quote that more honestly states the reason men believe in evolution than this one from a confirmed evolutionist:
“We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world; And because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves; for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever” — Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny (1983), p. 244
Evolution is not popular because it is the most plausible theory; it is popular because IT EXCUSES MAN FROM RESPONIBILITY TO A HIGHER POWER! Man hates God’s rules, it’s as simple as that! Hates them despite the fact that whenever those rules are obeyed to any extent in a society, that society is to that extent peaceful and happy, prosperous and free!
Evolution is so popular, and so viciously defended, because it gives people a way NOT to believe in God! It offers a plausible explanation to the origins of life that will hold up to minimal scrutiny, but once you look at it honestly and critically, and consider the impossibility of the sheer NUMBER of random mutations that took you from being a pit of slime to a human being with 70 trillion cells that reproduce after their kind and repair your body for decades, doing things that no modern technology can even approach duplicating… you will realize that evolution is the faith of those who have no faith!
And believing God does not exist, ignoring the evidence, rejecting the scientific method all while screaming “science disproves the Bible” allows man a good reason to disobey God which is what he wants to do anyway! And so even if there are major holes in the theory, they will continue to believe it because they like it!
2 Peter 3:5-6 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that BY THE WORD OF GOD the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
They are willingly, HAPPILY ignorant of the fact that it was the word of GOD that made the heavens, and made dry land, and then caused a flood! They don’t want to believe this, so they close their eyes and look the other way and don’t THINK about this evidence you’ve seen!
You’ve seen here that there IS proof, POWERFUL proof, God exists. And there is much more than I’ve shown. You no longer have that excuse to disobey God, because now you KNOW He is real! And that there are REAL rewards for obeying Him, and REAL punishments for disobeying Him!
All of these are compelling arguments; each one should give the most skeptical of honest researchers pause for thought. And you know what? For PROOF that God really does exist… only ONE of these arguments has to be right! Only one! If ANY one of these points is true, then God MUST exist! No other explanation will satisfy a scientific mind!
Job 36:25-26 Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great, and WE KNOW HIM NOT, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
And if after all this you’re not convinced, not even slightly weighed down by the burden of proof resting on your shoulders, then God has a word for you:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1 RSV)
Author’s Note: If this article makes a difference in your life, I would love to hear about it. Feel free to contact us any time.