Archive for December 2012

Lesson 1 of 10: Daniel predicts the year when Messiah will die

Top-Ten Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus

Lesson 1 of 10: Daniel predicts the year when Messiah will die

This week I will provide begin a series of 10 lessons over ten weeks explaining the top-ten prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. (A lesson outline for the next ten weeks is provided below). There are actually hundreds of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. This link lists them: http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html. However, we will focus on just the top-ten, which I thought were the most dramatic. Watch this short video and hear evangelical Old Testament scholar Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., explain why the book of Daniel predicts Jesus’ death 600 years before it happened.

Here are the main points made in the video:

Daniel the prophet wrote around 607 BC, the year he and others were carted into Babylonian captivity. Daniel writes in Daniel 9:1-3 1 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. “

Daniel was reading Jeremiah (Jeremiah wrote in around 629 BC). Jeremiah 25:12 states, “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.

Daniel must have wondered whether they go home after 70 years in 536 BC. God answers Daniel through the angel Gabriel, who says in Daniel 9:24-26:

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

Sixty-nine Sevens is 483 years (69 x 7 = 483 years) from the decree to restore Jerusalem until the time in which Messiah is cut off and the temple and city are destroyed. This places it within the corridor of 30 to 33 AD, the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. Here is how that is computed.

According to the website aboutbibleprophecy.com, the 483 years in the Daniel passage were lunar years that contain 360 days per year (12- 30 day lunar cycles). 483 x 360 = 173880 days. To convert these into solar years, we need to divide by 365.25 days per year (the .25 is needed for the extra day included during leap year every 4 years). 173,880/365.25 = 476 Solar years.

When was Daniel’s “69 weeks of years” supposed to begin? The prophecy in Daniel 9:24-26 begins with a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Many scholars believe this decree was issued from Artaxerxes I of Persia to Nehemiah in 444 BC (recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8). According to Christian scholar J.D. Wilson the date of 444 B.C. is based on the following:

  1. ‘In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ (Nehemiah 2:1).
  2. Artaxerxes’ accession was in 465 B.C.
  3. There is no day-of-month specified, so according to the Jewish custom the date is understood as the first day of the month, which would be Nisan 1, 444 BC.
  4. March 5, 444 B.C. is our corresponding calendar date.

444. B.C to 33 A.D. would be 476 years. 33 A.D. is the year many scholars believer Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was crucified during Passover.

Daniel 9:26 also says, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.“ The city of Jerusalem was sacked and the temple was destroyed in 70AD by the Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, confirming the prophecy.

Top-Ten Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus

  1. The exact year in history in which Messiah Jesus will be crucified
  2. Jesus will be born in Bethlehem
  3. Jesus will be betrayed by 30 pieces of silver
  4. Jesus’ hands and feet will be pierced
  5. Jesus will be identified with sinners
  6. Jesus will pay for our sins
  7. None of Jesus’ will be bones broken
  8. Jesus will be buried in rich man’s tomb
  9. Jesus’ garments will be divided
  10. Jesus’ body will not decay

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Silent Night

Silent Night

Listen to Nat King Cole sing Silent Night.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth ”  

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The First Noel

The First Noel

Listen to The First Noel.

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepards in fields as they lay:
In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the north-west;
O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest,
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay
. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the kind of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.  

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O Holy Night

O Holy Night

Listen to Nat King Cole sing the Christmas song.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

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O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Sing along with the Choir…

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;

For Christ is born of Mary,
and gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together,
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the king,
and peace to all on earth!

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given;
so God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
o come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel!

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Angels we have heard on high

Angels we have heard on high

Listen to the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform the Christmas song.

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Refrain
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Refrain

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Refrain

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.
Refrain

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Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Listen to the New London Choir and The London Symphony Orchestra perform the Christmas song.

Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of the favored one.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King”

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King”

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Quiz 6 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Quiz 6 on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Take this short self-quiz to test your knowledge of the sixth week’s lesson on Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

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The Swoon theory

Just the Facts: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

Lesson 18 of 18: The Swoon theory

Watch this short video to hear why the Swoon Theory is a fabrication easily dismissed by the facts.

Here are the main points made in the video:

The Swoon Theory posits that Jesus must have passed out or lost vital signs for a period of time and later was revived. Is this plausible? There are eight reasons why the swoon theory cannot be true:

  1. The Roman penalty for any soldier that let a prisoner escape was the death penalty.
  2. The fact that the soldier did not break the legs of Jesus, like the other two prisoners, was an indication that the soldier was certain Jesus was already dead (hanging low, not pushing up). This account is recorded in John 19:31-33
  3. John said that blood and water came out of a wound inflicted by a soldier with his spear to the heart (pierced the pericardium sac that surrounds heart). This account is recorded in John 19:34-35
  4. The body was encased in 70 pounds of burial garments, making it impossible to breath. This account is recorded in John 19:38-42
  5. After Jesus was resurrected, the disciples were transformed from cowards to bold proclaimers of the resurrection, willing to die for what they had seen. Thomas even worshiped Jesus as God. John 20:19-29. Would the disciples behave like this after seeing an injured Jesus, who looks like a half-dead sick man after he struggled out of the tomb on his own? This is hardly a reason to believe that he conquered death.
  6. A full guard detachment of 16 soldiers guarded the tomb. How could Jesus have slipped by?
  7. How could a half-dead man move the 1 ton stone blocking the tomb? And how could he do it from the inside?
  8. Where would Jesus have gone if he recovered from a swoon? Could he have walked the streets of Jerusalem without detection, well known as he was?

As you can see the Swoon Theory just does not hold up. The disciples were transformed from doubters of the resurrection to bold proclaimers of the resurrection, willing to die for it. The only explanation that could account for this is that they believed that Jesus rose from the dead. Therefore, Jesus must have died and appeared before them.

Lesson Outline

Twelve Known Resurrection Facts Believed By Harshest Critics of Christianity 

  1. Jesus died from crucifixion
  2. Jesus was buried in a tomb.
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
  4. Quiz on Week 1 Lessons.
  5. The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
  6. The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus..
  7. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  8. Quiz on Week 2 Lessons.
  9. The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church.
  10. The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried.
  11. The church grew because of the resurrection message.
  12. Quiz on Week 3 Lessons.
  13. The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection..
  14. James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  15. Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus.
  16. Quiz on Week 4 Lessons.

6 Common Objections Refuted By 12 Known Resurrection Facts:

  1. The Unknown Tomb theory.
  2. The Wrong Tomb theory.
  3. The Legend theory.
  4. Quiz on Week 5 Lessons.
  5. The Disciples Stole Body theory.
  6. The Authorities Hid Body theory.
  7. The Swoon theory
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What made the disciples fearless when they were once fearful

What made the disciples fearless when they were once fearful

The disciples were transformed from a fearful band of discouraged followers of the crucified Jesus to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ resurrection. They not only saw Jesus alive after his death, they saw him transported into heaven.

  • Luke 24: 50-53

    50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

 

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