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He Gave Us His Word


This is Chapter 4 by Gary Harbo


4. What are the Odds

Is it possible that we are wrong? You either believe that the Word of God is true and was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, or you have no chance at all for salvation. Given this scenario, if you are still doubtful, then you may want to know what the odds are. Let’s consider the odds of all these prophecies being fulfilled by someone who walked the earth since the beginning of time until this day. If it wasn’t divine intervention, then perhaps we can measure the odds of it happening by chance. For this exercise I use some good work from Dr. Chuck Missler and his wonderful book, Cosmic Codes, Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity. I specifically refer to a portion of his work found in chapter 16, titled “Measuring Confidence” (pp.217-230).

What is the probability that one single individual since the beginning of time could fulfill all eight of the following conditions?

1. Come from Bethlehem: 1 in 10,000 (my estimate)
2. A messenger will prepare the way for him and then the Lord will come to His Temple: 1 in 1,000 (my estimate)
3. Ride on a donkey into Jerusalem and be declared as a righteous king having salvation: 1 in 10,000 (my estimate)
4. Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver: 1 in 1,000
5. Silver returned, thrown into the Temple and used for the Potters field: 1 in 100,000
6. No defense though innocent: 1 in 1,000
7. Crucified (predicted before it was invented): 1 in 10,000
8. Bones not broken: 1 in 100 (my estimate)

If you multiplied this out it would be 1 in 10 to the 28th power.

To be fair, this could have been fulfilled by anyone who has lived since the time of these prophecies which would include 8.8 billion people. (Of course the Temple must be standing, so we could slice 2/3 of history off this exponential number if we wanted to, but we won’t.)

Therefore the odds of these eight prophecies happening by chance to one particular man within that time frame is found by dividing 10 to the 28th power by 10 to the 10th power, which gives us 10 to the 18th power.

How big a number is that? Let’s take a silver dollar. I’ll use the one that I carry in my pocket at all times. I actually use it for witnessing to unbelievers concerning the amazing power of our God. In fact I use this exact example in my story to them. This example originally came from Peter W. Stoner, Sience Speaks. So let’s look at that huge number that is required in order to make eight of these prophesies come to pass in one man since the beginning of time up until today. Let’s pretend that you had 10 to 18th power silver dollars. Do you know how many that is? It is enough to fill an area two feet deep. Now the question is; how big of an area? How about the size of your church? If we filled your church two feet deep in silver dollars is that large enough to hold these silver dollars? Nope! How about the size of your city? I don’t even care what city you live in, if we filled your city two feet deep in silver dollars, would it be large enough to hold 10 to the 18th power silver dollars? Nope, but I bet the city folks would love to see it though. How about the county that you live in? Is that big enough to hold the number that we are talking about? Nope. We would need to take the whole state of Texas and cover it with silver dollars to a depth of two feet. How big is Texas? You would have to add together the sizes of Ohio, Indiana, all of New England as well as all the Middle Atlantic states combined. Finally we would have a big enough area to hold that quantity. This area is 268,581 square miles and remember that it is filled two feet deep with silver dollars. That is an unbelievable amount of silver dollars.

Now stick with me, because we aren’t done yet. The next step is to make one of them gold plated, drop it by helicopter somewhere in the state of Texas and then mix all of the silver dollars up thoroughly. Finally we would need to take a blindfolded man or women, or better yet a monkey, since the evolutionists think that’s where they came from, and let the blindfolded monkey go anywhere in the state and pick up one coin. The likelihood of that monkey picking up that gold plated silver dollar on the first try is the same as the odds of these eight prophecies coming true in one man without divine intervention. If our blindfolded monkey did that, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. But since it’s not going to happen, I’ll stand firmly as a son of God. In fact, let me go on record as being one.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

What if we really wanted to go out on a limb and say that all 300 predictions in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah would come true? Which of course it has been shown to be fulfilled. If you were a gambler, what would be the odds of that happening?

In Pierson’s God’s Living Oracles, this renowned Bible scholar says that,

There are over 300 predictions about the Messiah to be found in the Old Testament. According to the law of compound probability, the chance of their coming true is represented by a fraction whose numerator is one, and the denominator eighty-four followed by nearly one hundred ciphers. (That would be 1 chance in 10 to the 100th power.

How big is that number? Scientists tell us that the range of total atoms in our entire universe are somewhere between 10 to the 66th power and 10 to the 80th power. You would have more luck randomly picking one atom out of the whole universe then all of these prophecies coming to pass in one man without it being controlled by God. Breathtaking isn’t it?

In the field of physics, it is assumed that any probability smaller than 1 chance in 10 to the 50th power being selected on the first try is manifestly absurd, and thus it is defined as such.

To attribute the fulfillment of the specific Messianic prophecies by Jesus Christ to the coincidental actions of unaided chance alone is, by standard scientific definition, absurd. Every one of them have come to pass in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God!

Let’s look at the eight Old Testament prophecies that we are going to study regarding Jesus Christ. Again, there are over 300 prophecies predicting Jesus Christ, however I’m only going to study these eight. Here they are listed for your preview.

1. Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The one to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

2. Malachi 3:1Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before me.
And the LORD, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the LORD of hosts
.

3. Zechariah 9:9Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey
.”

4. Zechariah 11:12 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.

5. Zechariah 11:13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter” -- that princely price they set on me.” So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.


6. Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

7. Psalm 22:16 For Dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;

8. Psalm 34:20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.

Isn’t it crystal clear? Jesus is our Messiah. Our heavenly Father guarantees it through the Word. He backed it up by boldly foretelling this over 300 times before His Son was given. If you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, then I challenge you to find your salvation in that “one atom in the universe.” Those would be the same odds. (Actually your odds are much greater of picking that one lucky atom in the universe on the very first try, then it is for these prophesies to come true without God’s intervention.) Would you want to bet your life on picking one atom in the whole universe to anchor your salvation to? (Some of these same nonbelievers consider it a waste of money to bet on the powerball lottery, but compared to these numbers, the lottery is a sure thing!) It’s unbelievable how many normally intelligent human beings deny their opportunity of salvation through Christ. It makes my heart bleed for them and their pride. I know what is at stake, because I was once lost in my pride. I truly pray that the lost may come to see the light and the truth.

Why would you want to bet your life against such odds? If you want to be saved and spend eternity in heaven why wouldn’t you bet your life on the side of salvation? Salvation is in Jesus Christ, our Messiah. If you believe Jesus came to earth in the living flesh to die for our sins, and you ask him for His forgiveness, and to come into your life, then you are saved! We know from Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...

Given the life-or-death stakes, why wouldn’t you want to bet your life on it? Especially knowing the absurdity of the odds that this all happened without God. Why would you want to commit suicide from eternal salvation by choosing not to believe. Not only would you be giving up an opportunity for eternal life beyond our wildest imaginations, but you will be replacing that option with eternal life in a lake of fire. What would that life be like? Our beloved Jesus warns us in Mark:

Mark 9:43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–where
‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–where
‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire– where
‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched
.’”

Think about that the next time you tell someone to go to hell. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Jesus is literally saying that we need to repent, stop sinning, and turn to God. The alternative is ghastly. It is unthinkable. How painful would it be to cut off your leg? Jesus is telling us that the pain is minor compared to an eternity in hell. He is giving us a visual and emotional picture of what the consequences of our choices are. We cannot claim ignorance in the outcome. He has given us a very clear picture. John also tells us in Revelation:

Revelation 21:8But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Have you ever smelled sulfur? I’ve smelled water that had a sulfur content in it and it was nasty. It was from a clean well in central South Dakota, but I couldn’t drink it without gagging. I can’t imagine a fiery lake of sulfur with worms that never die. I think, given the two choices, I’m so glad that I gave my life to Christ. Especially since He gave His life for me and for the remission of my sins. Remission means to remove. That means your sins are gone. Vamos! They have to be removed in order to stand in God’s presence.

As I mentioned earlier, I will only select eight of this group of 300 prophecies to give you a representative sample of the power of the Word of God. If you appreciate the significance of these eight, you will be overwhelmed by the power of the rest. Please join me as we dig into the eight.

 

Click here if you'd like to read the foreword

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 1

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 2

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 3

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 5

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 6

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 7

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 8

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 9

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 10

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 11

Click here if you'd like to read chapter 12

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