Christianity and Islam: Reliability of the Bible (Part 2)

In the first part of this study, we took a look at how the dead sea scrolls and prophecy works together to show how the Bible is indeed reliable and has more to it than meets the eye. In this second part, we’ll delve deeper into the significance of prophecy in the Bible as well as current events and how that ties in.

Prophecy

Signs in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Another big piece of prophecy has to do with celestial bodies: the sun, moon, stars, planets, and constellations; these all work together to bring about a specific purpose in the Bible. They are so important to God’s grand design that it’s specifically stated in Genesis by God what he intends to use them for, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:14-15). From this passage, we’re told that the celestial bodies are for:

  1. Signs
  2. Seasons
  3. Days and Years
  4. Light up the earth

Note that God first states their use not as a lights to light up the earth or as a marker of time but their foremost purpose is to serve as signs and for seasons. Just this passage alone can be its own study but I’ll summarize some key points for now; the definition of a “sign” according to the oxford dictionary is “An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else” or “Something regarded as an indication of what is happening or going to happen”. Next you might be thinking why the word “season” is important in all of this. A season after all is winter, spring, fall, or summer so what’s the significance of a season in the grand scheme of things? The truth is, this word in Hebrew holds a different meaning than what it was translated as. According to Blue Letter Bible, the Hebrew word for season is “mow`ed” meaning “appointed place” or “appointed time”. From these 2 words we can see that the primary purpose of the celestial bodies which God created are to serve as signs for appointed times; God uses them to show us the things that will take place in the future at his specified time. These “appointed times” are given to the Israelites in the Old Testament and they still observe them to this day. I’m sure you’ve heard or are familiar with some of them:

  1. Passover“These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord‘s passover” (Leviticus 23:4-5).
  2. Unleavened Bread“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread” (Leviticus 23:6).
  3. Firstfruits“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Leviticus 23:10-11).
  4. Pentecost“Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LordYe shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:16-17).
  5. Feast of Trumpets“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:24).
  6. Day of Atonement“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Leviticus 23:27).
  7. Feast of Tabernacles “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord” (Leviticus 23:34).

These appointed times or the Lord’s “feasts” serve an even grander plan in the Bible as they act as a typology in the Old Testament to point to Jesus’ future fulfillment of them in the New Testament. For example, passover was an event (an appointed time) in which the Lord passed over the houses of those who dwelt in Egypt. However, the Israelites were instructed to slay a young lamb, without blemish and wipe the blood of that lamb on their door so God would pass over their house and not kill their firstborn child. Once all the firstborn children in Egypt had been killed, the pharaoh allowed the Israelites to finally leave Egypt. On that passover, the Israelites were released from slavery (Exodus 12). Likewise, Jesus was the “lamb that was slain” (John 1:29, Acts 8:32, 1 Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:12). This feast was first fulfilled in Egypt and then later fulfilled by Jesus by being the sacrifice for all humanity and freeing us from the slavery of sin.

With this base knowledge we have of the feast days and what God uses the celestial bodies for, I will highlight a recent event that played into this;  the “great sign in heaven” also known as the Revelation 12 sign that occurred on September 23rd, 2017 on the feast of trumpets. Not only did a literal fulfillment of this sign occur last year as written almost 2,000 years ago, but it also occurred on one of God’s appointed times.Great-Sign-Rev12-730x421.jpg

source: http://christinprophecyblog.org/2017/08/investigating-the-great-sign-of-revelation-12/ 

Revelation 12:1-2 depicts a sign in the sky composed of the sun, moon, constellations, and planets all aligned in a very specific way. Just this alone is its own study but that goes beyond the intent of this article. If you’re interested in learning more about the significance of the sign as well as if it’s happened before, I highly recommend you to go to unsealed.org for their extensive article on the sign. There they go into depth about its symbolic meaning, the meaning of the literal fulfillment and tackles claims against the sign as well as examining dates that people claim as a previous fulfillment.

Current Events

Lastly, the Bible tells us that as we approach the end of this age and Christ’s return, we will see an increase in frequency and intensity when it comes to violence, war, death, disease, natural disasters, etc. All of these things culminate as “signs” to watch out for as Jesus’ return draws near. Something to keep in mind is that God uses Jerusalem as his “prophetic” timepiece to show us how soon that return is. We can see this playing out in today’s world events and specifically in the Middle East. I would recommend taking a look at the articles below as they go into details on the events occurring in the world on a daily basis as well as their prophetic significance:

To conclude, my purpose here isn’t to mock Muslims for their beliefs or to try to “prove” them wrong. I simply enjoy looking into these things and comparing religions. In doing so I feel that some ideas concerning Christianity may have been misunderstood or certain facts may not be known that actually shed light into some questions. At the end of the day we are all entitled to our beliefs and even after reading this article you may not agree with what was presented and that is ok. My mission was to show through the dead sea scrolls as well as biblical prophecy that the Bible indeed has been well kept over thousands of years and that the prophecies within it show that there’s more than meets the eye concerning this book. Something I want to leave you with is if the Bible truly has been altered and corrupted beyond its original message then there is no way that what was written about the messiah – Jesus – could have come true and there is no way that the prophecies written in the Bible thousands of years ago, could currently be lining up and being fulfilled to the detail today. I would encourage everyone who reads this to look further into what was presented and come to your own conclusions.

Now that we’ve looked into the differences between Christianity and Islam concerning the validity of the Bible, in my next article I’ll be taking a look into another important ,and in my opinion, overlooked idea within both religions; this being the “nature of humanity”, specifically concerning sin. Christians believe that all humans are sinful and need a sacrifice to be made “pure” in the eyes of God. This is seen through the Old Testament through various animal sacrifices and then in the New Testament through the death of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. However this idea doesn’t hold true in Islam. Muslims do not believe humans are born sinful but rather we can commit good and bad acts and that we will be held accountable for those actions. I believe this is another key idea worth looking into that will help Muslims see why Christians stress the need to be saved and will help Christians see why Muslims don’t believe “salvation” is necessary.

Sources:

  1. https://jewsforjesus.org/answers/jesus-references-to-old-testament-scriptures/
  2. http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html
  3. http://y-jesus.com/what-are-the-odds/
  4. http://christinprophecy.org/articles/applying-the-science-of-probability-to-the-scriptures/
  5. https://blogs.bible.org/impact/hal_warren/the_seven_feasts_of_israel
  6. https://www.gotquestions.org/Jewish-feasts.html
  7. https://www.unsealed.org/2017/01/the-revelation-12-sign-compendium.html
  8. https://beliefmap.org/prophecy-fulfilled/tyre/
  9. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/12/07/Ezekiel-261-14-A-Proof-Text-For-Inerrancy-or-Fallibility-of-The-Old-Testament.aspx#Article
  10. http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/
  11. http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/onbible.htm

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