Hundreds of thousands of people died in the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. But as described in these news reports, others saw warning signs, and escaped with their lives…
a 10-year-old British girl saved more than 100 people because she had just studied the killer waves in school. When the sea suddenly began to boil, then pulled away from the resort she was visiting, leaving fish and boats stranded high and dry, Tilly Smith recognized that a tsunami was approaching. Fortunately, her frantic warnings were heeded, and the beach was evacuated just moments before the huge waves crashed ashore…
Many other people in the region were less attuned to nature, and paid with their lives.
The most important knowledge, guiding our values and behaviors during our lifetime, is what happens after this lifetime.
Science cannot answer the question “Does God exist?”…science studies the natural world, not the supernatural. No amount of scientific testing or theorizing could prove or disprove the existence of a supernatural creator.
So we are forced to rely on revelation by a supernatural being.
But there are over 4,000 religions in the world offering hope for a quality of spiritual existence after death of the body. Which one is trustworthy?
From a research perspective, the place to start investigating is the statistical evidence of
- high prevalence – consistently high numbers of believers over time
- and high incidence – consistently high numbers of new adherents over time.
According to the following chart, after 6,000 years of recorded history only 8% of the world’s population didn’t believe in some kind of a god. Even after atheist Communism engulfed the highly populous nations.
One could take the perspective that the atheism of Communism drove their populations to seek a loving God.
Currently there are 2.4 billion Christians basing their beliefs on the Bible, and 1.8 billion Moslems whose Quran drew much of its fundamental beliefs from the Bible. Judaism is of course rooted in the Bible, and there are other religions which also derive from these three religions, ergo, are rooted in the Bible.
What we find is that is that at least half of the world’s religions are openly rooted in the Bible.
By comparison, Hinduism, the third largest religion at 14% of believers, falls far below Islam’s second place of 21% and Christianity’s first place of 33%. When you take into account Hinduism’s diversity without consistency, believers are pretty much taking a shot in the dark in contrast to guidance found in the Bible and the Quran.
Please take note that this blog-book investigates the supernatural claims of the Bible, the source document, not religions or religious leaders spinning off from the sourcebook.
Any research requires consistency in what is being researched, and there is no consistency in the multiple religions claiming to be based on the same source document.
In clinical research…homogeneous patient population needs to be selected…The inclusion criteria identify the study population in a consistent…uniform and objective manner.
So this study does not include Christian beliefs nor does it attempt to convert the reader to a Christian world view. (Statistically, probably just lost the majority of potential followers…)
It is a fact that the Bible is the single most trusted collection of revelation of history, future predictions, and spirituality. It has remained relevant over the past 3,500 years since Moses compiled more ancient documents into the Jewish Torah despite massive culture shifts from hunter-gatherer societies to today’s Space Age.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him…and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:6-7)
This everlasting gospel predates Christianity and even Judaism in its practices and dogmas. The everlasting gospel even predates this world and time.
“God ordained before the world…the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I Corinthians 2:5-9)
Statements in Bible written about 100 AD reports that
- the end of material existence
- is inextricably linked to the end of time.
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him
- that liveth for ever and ever,
- who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein,
- that there should be time no longer…
And I saw...the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Revelation 10:5-7, 21:1)
In other words, the Bible reported a scientific law 2,000 years before Einstein. This is impressive credentialing for the Bible.
Scientists once thought that space and time were separate, and that the universe was merely an assortment of cosmic bodies arranged in three dimensions. Einstein, however, introduced the concept of time as the fourth dimension, which meant that space and time were inextricably linked….Many years after its proposal, Einstein’s general theory of relativity was proven.
the Bible is…not a science textbook…Instead, God teaches us about these things through his general revelation in the created order.
However…defining religion and science as separate…doesn’t help us understand the interactions they do have, either negative or positive…we need all the knowledge and wisdom we can get, rather than handicapping ourselves by looking only to science or only to the Bible. If we look to only one or the other, we will get a distorted view of the issue.
God reveals himself in the book of Scripture and the book of Nature. To learn more about God and his work, we study both books…In both revelations, we look for the underlying truth of who God is.
The Bible presents itself as history. Its historical validity should be judged in the same manner as that of any other ancient document. There are three tests to determine whether any ancient document can be trusted as history:
Bibliographic Test. How many different copies exist, and how much time elapsed between the original writing and the first available copy?…
In most cases, relatively few copies of ancient documents exist, made long after the original. For example, there are 193 copies of the works of Sophocles. The earliest was written 1,400 years after the original autograph. This is a large number of copies compared to other ancient works of history. The New Testament, by comparison, is supported by over 24,000 different copies, the earliest of which was made only 25 years after the original. The New Testament has more bibliographic support than any other historical document of its time..
Internal Test. Does the document contradict itself?
The Bible was written by numerous people over a period of about 1,500 years. I fully expected to find contradictions…I was amazed at the integrity I found, from cover to cover, through all the years and all the writers. That integrity and depth continues to amaze me and convince me that the Bible cannot have been written by humans on their own. Further study began to reveal patterns beneath patterns in the text…The Bible is specific, historical, and remarkably different from other books and writings that claim to be holy or inspired…
The gospels are extremely consistent with one another by ancient standards, which are the only standards by which it is fair to evaluate them…written by one careful historian (Luke) and three different eyewitnesses to the events (Matthew, Peter with Mark transcribing, and John). When eyewitness accounts agree in every detail, it is evidence of copying or collaboration. The authors of the gospels recorded information that reflected unfavorably on themselves. Untruthful witnesses tend to edit that kind of information out! The writers had nothing to gain by publicizing their work except persecution, ostracism and martyrdom.
External Test. Does the document contradict external sources of historical or archaeological fact..?
The more overlap there is with other documents written during the same time period, the more authentic a record is considered to be. The document must also be consistent with archaeological discoveries. Over the years, archaeologists have successfully used the Bible to guide them to excavation sites…”Archaeologists were surprised when they discovered evidence of civilizations mentioned in the Bible, such as the Hittites, but previously assumed to be legendary.
One expert documented 39 ancient sources that corroborate more than one hundred facts concerning Jesus’ life, teachings, crucifixion and resurrection…
If one discards the Bible as being reliable, then he must discard almost all literature of antiquity…One needs to apply the same test, whether the literature under investigation is secular or religious.
I did not set out to prove or disprove the Bible. I just wanted to satisfy myself that my decisions about it were informed, not based on assumptions..
If we want to be informed about how it all ends, no other religious documents match the detail provided in the Bible about the end of this world, and of each individual life.
- What – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” (Revelation 21:1)
- This is credible, given the concerns of the Atomic Scientists.
- When – “the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
- This is in the future, but how far into the future? One can only hope that there is a future restored by a Supreme Being after humanity destroys itself.
- How -“fire came down from God out of heaven.” (Revelation 20:10)
- The science of physics is all about striving to understand energy, which it admits it is too complicated for humanity’s limited tools to measure in all its dimensions. The Bible’s report that a Supreme being, on the other hand, would have control over immense energy is credible.
- To whom – “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God…and the dead were judged” (Revelation 20:11-15)
The last book of the Bible remains 100% consistent with the preceding 3,300 years’ worth of documented eyewitness testimony of current events and future prophecies which have all come true. That is astounding testimony, and should make us take notice.
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ,
- which God gave unto him,
- to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;
- and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of
- the word of God,
- and of the testimony of Jesus Christ,
- and of all things that he saw.” (Revelation 1:1-2)
A straightforward grammatical understanding of the first words of this document give us to understand the focus of the revelation is not, as commonly presented, of “the end times events”.
It is the revelation of Jesus Christ.
So the person of Jesus Christ must include the Supreme Being, AKA God of the Bible.
“Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, or His son’s name?
Surely you know!” (Proverbs 30:1-4)
His name is YHWH (Yahweh)…(verse 9). It comes from the verb ‘to be’ – ‘hayah’, which was what God called himself when he first revealed himself [by this name] to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:14) – ‘I AM’…he’s “The one who was, who is, and who is to come” (Revelation 1:4; 4:8). Yesterday, today and forever, the existing one. “He who comes to God must believe that He is,” says the writer to the Hebrews (11:6) – must believe that “YHWH”, we might say.
“what is His son’s name?”
This is where it helps to know Jesus’ Jewish name: Yeshua…Greek translation / transliteration has obscured both the Old Testament name of God and Jesus’ Jewish name to us so that we don’t hear their relationship. Since the Greek translation of the OT simply used their word for ‘Lord’ to translate ‘YHWH’, English translations have followed suit, rather than putting his name in. And ‘Jesus’ is the Hellenised version of ‘Yeshua’.
it means that Yahweh (Yah) saves (shua) or ‘is salvation’…
YHWH revealed that he was existence itself – the very basis of reality; and his purpose…was revealed to be salvation, through his Son and image, his fullness bodily, Yeshua. Yahweh (Being) is salvation (saves)…
Too much is made today of the apparent conflict between the ‘God’ of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New. One of the biggest challenges to this struggle is the fact that neither Jesus nor any of the early church seems to have wrestled with this conflict…when you met God’s representative to the world, and said his name, ‘Yeshua’, you would have breathed the very name of God as revealed through the Law and the Prophets as you spoke his name. The two cannot be separated, or made to be different Gods. The God of our fathers, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was fully and finally revealed in his perfect image, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The Christ / Christos [Greek] / ha Messiah [Hebrew] is a title for the Anointed One.
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ is about the Existential God’s means of salvation from mortality
- which God gave unto him – the uncreated Eternal Being.
- to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass – those who acknowledge YHVH / Eternal Being / Creator as being, logically, Authority on the rules of life.
- and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John (Revelation 1:1-2)
The word angel ἄγγελος / aggelos in Greek simply means “messenger”. In a spiritual context it often refers to the hyper dimensional being commonly portrayed as toppers for Christmas trees. But this word can also refer to mortal human beings: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent (From Homer down through the ages.)
The word “signified” sémainó in Greek, means to give a sign / sēmeíon to confirm, corroborate or authenticate the veracity of a message, often with a seal from a signet ring on the wax sealing a document.
How was the person of Jesus Christ the seal of approval of this revelation to John?
The text gives the answer. “Who / John bare record
- of the word of God,
- and of the testimony of Jesus Christ,
- and of all things that he saw.“
- was in the Spirit [energized beyond four dimensions in order to interact with hyper dimensionality] on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…
- And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw…one like unto the Son of man [looks like a human but is more than human]…And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead [getting that close to that much power shocks the life out of you].
- And he laid his right hand upon me [restoring the power of life], saying unto me, Fear not…
- I am he that liveth,
- and was dead;
- and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen [This Is The Truth!];
- and have the keys of hell and of death [for everyone who will trust that what you are witnessing IS true!].
- Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter [as my messenger, witness.]” (Revelation 1:9-19)
John could authenticate that the immortal being that he saw was Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, because he had personally witnessed Jesus Christ transformed from mortal to immortal after he had been definitely killed, then risen again.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, he said…It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost…Then came the soldiers, and…saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and wter. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe…(John 19:25-35)
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him…So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying…And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself…and he saw, and believed [on the basis of the evidence] For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:1-9)
I learned the sign-ificance / sign-ifying of the napkin’s placement to John when I was in the Middle East where meals stretch out with lots of socialization. One’s napkin is a silent message to the guests. As long as the host keeps his napkin in use the event continues, often long into the night. The host can fold his napkin and place it to the side while he relieves himself, to mingle with the crowd at the event, but he is not finished until he crumples his napkin and places it on top of the his plate / rest of the linens.
This sign still lingers in today’s customs.
In the event that you need to leave the table during a meal, lay your napkin on the seat of your chair, loosely folded. A napkin is never returned to the table until you are ready to depart;
The meal that Yeshua was hosting was the Last Supper, begun the night on which he was betrayed, four days earlier.
“the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
The position of Yeshua’s napkin signified to John that Yeshua wasn’t finished. He would rejoin his friends when he came back from where-ever it was he had temporarily gone.
“Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead…Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved…This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 19:25-20:9, 21:14-24)
Any acceptance of the veracity of John’s Revelation is irretrievably linked to John’s testimony in the Gospel of John. Just a quick review here, more detail in the following post on A Singularity Can’t Be A Trinity.
- “In the beginning was the Word [Sound form of Energy, defined as the ability to do work],
- and the Word / E was with God
- scientifically described as E being a separate element in E=mc2
- and the Word / E was God
- scientifically described as c2 = E/m where science defines c2 as the constant squared, i.e infinite, the “conversion factor between different units [of energy and mass] that we created before we understood relativity theory.”
- The same [reiterating to emphasize a truth – E, energy, expressed as sound, verbalized as in “Let there be…} was in the beginning with God.
- and the Word / E was with God
- And the Word / Energy was made flesh / mass, and dwelt among us,
- (and we beheld his glory [victory in battle!], the glory as of the only begotten of the Father [the Seed of the Woman promised to the Adams,) full of grace and truth [opposing the enemy of hatred and lies]…
- Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world…
- ye believe in God, believe also in me…
- I go to prepare a place for you…
- I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
- that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 1:1-4, 14, 29; 14:1-4)
Yeshua’s work on earth, and the first generation of eyewitnesses to his life and death never veered from the preceding messages of God’s prophets:
- “our Lord Jesus Christ [Bossman of the Earth YHVH’s Appointed Savior]…gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world…
- but there be some that…pervert the gospel of Christ.
- But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:3-9)
- “all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly…the day that cometh shall burn them up…
- But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” (Malachi 4:1-2)
- Before rejecting a Creator God out of hand because of a bad experience with religion, stop and think for one minute.
Death is the biggest crisis we’ll face in life. Can we trust our own judgment on a condition we have no way of exploring for ourselves? This isn’t a question I can really afford to ignore, neither can I trust my own limited experience on such a significant issue, that one way or another, sooner or later, is going to happen to each of us. And to the ones we love more than our own selves.