The Bible and Compound Probability
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2Peter 1:19-21)
“COMPOUND PROBABILITY.” Google just found it 54 million times in less than one second. Everyone should know “compound probability” like their family name.
COMPOUND PROBABILITY IS: “A compound event is one in which there is more than one possible outcome.” Compound probability is a key element in Bible prophecy. We’ll come back to this later.
I HEARD THE LATE, DR. WALTER WILSON OF KANSAS CITY, MO., medical doctor, tent maker and pastor, say something like this: “God wrote two books. One book, you can hold in your hand and it’s called: The Bible. The other book is the creation of the earth and the vast universe”. You can’t have a watch without a watch maker. Simple.
A FEW YEARS AGO, a few Sunday Morning TV programs were aired by a group of highly rated professors entitled: “In Search of the Real Jesus.” Their approach was to sift through archaeological diggings and various museum relics for verifying the Jesus of the Bible. That has been the approach of “Higher Criticism” for over a hundred years. One might expect these self-appointed “experts” to agree among themselves about their findings. However, they are broken up into various camps and they can’t agree with each other on the details of proving, by their methods, “Who the real Jesus is.”
WE ALREADY KNOW THE BIBLE TO BE THE WORD OF GOD whether these “learned scholars” find any more significant relics. I would suggest that they are looking in the wrong place. Some of most reliable proofs of Bible trustworthiness is the Bible itself. More in a minute.
WHEN I WAS IN THE SIXTH GRADE, we lived in Elizabethton, TN. Our curriculum in the public school included a study of the Greek gods. I was particularly interested in Thor, the god of thunder, whose name ended up in “Thursday” of our week. (Thor’s day.)
MY THOUGHTS: “These people thought their gods were the true gods. How do I know my God is the true God?” My best, honest reason was that it was what my mother believed, and she was a good woman. That’s the best I could come up with.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS I READ MY BIBLE, attended church, and kept this question in the back of my mind. It was bedrock that the most honest people I knew believed the Bible was the book of the real God.
“ISN'T THE BIBLE AS RELIABLE AS THE GREEK WRITINGS ABOUT THEIR GODS? Why do these public-school textbooks raise the question of “which god” and did not include the Bible as being as reliable as the Greek books of mythology?”
YEARS LATER AS I PLOWED THROUGH A THICK COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY TEXTBOOK and listened to one of the smartest men in America teach the class, I learned that the Greek philosophers couldn’t agree with each other. They sifted each other and struggled to come up with something better than the last generation. One generation after another, their best thinkers couldn’t find truth and couldn’t find God. Their gods were defective, and their systems of thought were defective. Philosophy: the love of knowledge.
TO STUDY PHILOSOPHY IN COLLEGE IS TO STUDY THE SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT that were considered and then discarded, or superseded. “The previous generation of philosophers worked their lifetime and didn’t get it, but we’ve got it.” The next generation did the same thing. Finally, they had exhausted all the possible ideas and philosophy, as a pursuit of learning, was bankrupt and unprofitable. The one, true God was looking on and said:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
PAUL WAS THE "BRAIN" AMONG THE CHRISTIANS and commented to the Christians at Corinth: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom (Greek philosophers, primarily) knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1Corinthians 1:21)
GOD WAS WISE ABOVE THEM ALL AND LET THEM EXHAUST THEMSELVES seeking after truth through debate and discussions and writing their books. Then, God was pleased to reveal truth through Divine Revelation. Not through discussion and sifting of the best minds through several generations. God revealed what they could not discover among themselves.
WHEN JESUS WAS ON TRIAL BEFORE PILOT, Jesus said He had come to bear witness of the truth and Pilot immediately asked Him: “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Jesus Himself is the truth, the Word of God in human flesh.
AT LAST, I CAME ACROSS SOME OF THE PROPHETIC STATEMENTS OF THE BIBLEe (see below on this page) and went to the County Fair. At the County Fair, there was the jar of marbles or jellybeans and you could pay to guess how many were in the jar. That would be almost impossible, so, I didn’t waste my money on it. I had never heard of “compound probability.” That’s a little branch of math that deals with the probability of a certain thing being true. The more factors that go into the problem, the less likely you are to come up with the right answer. Guessing a big jar of jelly beans is not good.
MANY YEARS LATER, I WAS TEACHING A HIGH SCHOOL PROPHECY CLASS and we considered what the chances were that Jesus could fulfill the prophesies in the Old Testament concerning Himself. Some math students in Texas had already taken it on as a project and concluded that it was one chance in 1, followed by 80 zeros. I began making zeros on an eight-foot chalk board and found I could draw 40 reasonable-size zeros across the chalk board. So, I had to go across the chalk board twice with zeros. There it was: a one followed by eighty zeroes. I never heard of any state lotteries having that many zeroes, not even a national lottery would have that many zeroes. I can’t comprehend it.
WALTER C.KAISER, JR.WROTE AN ARTICLE: The Promise of the Messiah in Decision Magazine November 22, 2006, in which he says: “In his Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, J. Barton Payne itemized 127 Messianic predictions involving more than 3,000 Bible verses, with a remarkable 574 verses referring directly to a personal Messiah! My book The Messiah in the Old Testament examined 65 direct prophecies about the Messiah. These incredible promises formed one of the most central themes of the Old Testament: the coming Messiah.” https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/november-2006/the-promise-of-the-messiah/ (Read the whole article.)
KEEP IN MIND THAT MANY OF THE 127 PREDICTIONS HAD MULTIPLE PARTS must come to pass. The Texas students, above, concluded that, altogether, something in excess of 300 separate items had to be fulfilled. Many are yet to be fulfilled. But, enough were fulfilled in Jesus’ lifetime to make an astounding statement by means of compound probability.
EVEN BEFORE I HEARD OF COMPOUND PROBABILITY, I had looked at the element of prophecy in the Bible and knew that I had found something the gods of the Greeks didn’t have. None of the gods of any nation in the history of the world has ever had a proven rate of fulfilled prophecies in its literature. None!
THAT'S WHY I ENJOY WALKING AROUND IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, realizing there’s not one book in that massive national library that can tell the future. Well, there IS one book: there are some Bibles in the Library of Congress. That one book in our largest library tells the most significant things that are going to happen in the future. It also tells where we came from and what our purpose is in being here.
CONSIDER THESE VERSES ON WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT HIMSELF.
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9)
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Jesus said: Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. (John 13:19)
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Act 15:18)
FULFILLED PROPHECY IS ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS that interests me about the trustworthiness of the Bible. There are other reasons, but this is one of the foundational proofs that the Bible is reliable. It would take several months of articles like this to go through all the Bible prophecies and their fulfillment. The Bible contains plenty of proof in its own pages to prove it is what it says it is: The Word of God. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JUNE 5, 2019 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. 2Chronicles: 17-19 P.M. John 15
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Song for Today:
Glory to His Name(2:01) – (Male Trio) (Calvary Mem.Church – S.Pines, NC)
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