Convert between numerical bases
PROPHECY ONE: Israel’s Gentile enemies would be destroyed (e.g. Isa 34:1-4; Zech 12:1-9; 14:1-5, 12; etc.)
This is true for the most part. We don’t see the Amalekites or the Romans or Nazi Germany around anymore. Egypt is still there, but they are more or less at peace with Israel. Then again, the last remnant of Israel itself (Judea) was destroyed by the Romans, and only exists today as a colony founded by revivalists from Eastern Europe, largely Marxists and atheists. It is difficult to look at the topless beaches in Tel Aviv and see this nationalist movement as a triumph of God. Then again, upon reflection, maybe the Old Testament Yahweh triumphed after all, when we see how His Chosen People treat the other folks who live there too.
PROPHECY TWO: The northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah would be brought back from their respective exiles to their Promised Land (e.g., Jerermiah 33:7).
The problem with this prophecy is that intermarriage and a deliberate policy by the conquering Assyrians to eliminate the tribal identity of their subjects has totally destroyed most of the components of the Northern Kingdom. They were intermarried with the Medeans and other people and thus truly scattered. Only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, and Levi remained more or less intact, and these in turn have been absorbed into the construct we call “Jews” today. Unless the state of Israel is prepared to open their borders to the Syrians, this cannot be fulfilled. Most believers, when they do think about this issue, dismiss it with a hand wave and say that God can sort out everyone by their DNA.
PROPHECY THREE: In later traditions there was the expectation of a resurrection of the dead to vindicate the righteous martyrs of Israel – they too would share in the blessings of the new age (e.g., Dan 12:2; 2 Macc 7).
Later Hellenistic encrustations imported into Christianity developed this theology of the resurrection into a system where human souls were considered innately immortal, like the angels, and the whole panoply of salvation amounts to a procedure like we see in Harry Potter, where the students are sorted by a talking hat into various rival houses according to their temperament. In any event, it is hard to vindicate something with a phenomenon (resurrection of the dead) that itself has no tangible evidence.
PROPHECY FOUR: The Jerusalem temple would be rebuilt, desecrated by the antichrist (Dan. 9) , and eventually YHWH would dwell there again (e.g., Ezek. 40-48).
If so, then the Muslim mosque called the Dome of the Rock, which occupies the physical location of the former Holy of Holies, exists as a sort of cork on the fulfillment of Jewish eschatology. If a third temple is built will need to be consecrated (one cannot desecrate what has not been made holy), and the Jews will again practice animal sacrifices which Christians believe have been superseded by the final, universally efficacious sacrifice of God’s son. If the rituals are carried out and God fills the temple with his presence, as the Bible says he did in the time of Solomon, it would be a repudiation of the New Testament. God would be saying, in essence, “I never heard of Peter, Paul, or this carpenter guy.”
PROPHESY FIVE: “I will dry up the streams of the Nile and sell the land to evil men; by the hand of foreigners I will lay waste the land and everything in it. I the LORD have spoken” (Ezekiel 30:12) – No record exists of this ever happening. There are years when the Nile fails to flood the banks, permitting irrigation, but never when it ceases to flow altogether. Likewise, Isaiah prophesied that the sea would dry up. Dinnit.
- From Daniel chapter 2 the statue head of Gold Babylon Nebuchadnezzar, Silver was Medes and Persians.
Nebbie’s idol had a head of gold (his empire), arms of silver (Medes), belly of brass (Persians), legs of iron (Greece), feet of clay (Romans). But history didn’t wrap up with Rome, so now the feet of clay is Europe and silver was the MEDO-Persians! Lather, rinse, repeat.
- “In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” – Daniel 9:2 (KJV)
Jewish bigwigs were in exile for 54 years after Jerusalem fell to the neo-Babylon. Ezra led a group back there with a mandate from the Persian king to rebuild the temple, and that was 79 years later. So that throws off all calculations of the rapture based on Daniel’s 70 years.
Second Thessalonians is a followup epistle to the church at Thessalonika, where Paul lays out some more eschatology to Christians who were worried they missed the Second Coming of Christ. Paul assures them the Day of the Lord will not come until there’s a general apostasy that overtakes the whole church, followed by the appearance of the Antichrist who will claim to be the incarnation of God and sit in the Temple, of which, at the time of Paul’s death in 67 CE, still stood intact on Mt. Zion.
This letter therefore presents a problem to modern Christians, because thanks to Romans like Titus and Vespasian there is no more Temple in Jerusalem, and there won’t be another Temple unless the Jews can get the Muslims to move their nice Dome of the Rock mosque off the place where the Holy of Holies used to go. Every time the Jews ask them to do so, the Muslims always say no. The problem hinges on the fact that Christ said “Ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”. As long as there is no temple, then that hour is kept at bay.
Paul himself even affirmed the immanence of Christ’s return in his first letter to Thessalonika (5:2): For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
There are Bible Colleges where people spend years of their life figuring all this stuff out. The solution they found was to preserve immanence with a secret Rapture of True Believers, wherein Jesus comes like a thief in the night and beams up everyone who believes in the Rapture. All atheists and even believers like Roman Catholics who believe in the risen Christ but do not believe in the Rapture will get Left Behind to suffer seven years of wrath from God. It is during the first half of that seven year period that the Temple will be rebuilt and the second half when the Antichrist takes over. Why seven years? Because Daniel mentions a prophetic “week”. Why do Christians get raptured out? Because Romans chapter 8 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And so on.
The entire rickety house of cards was built to preserve the innerancy of Scripture, and it almost works. The one fatal flaw in Rapture theory is that a restored temple would require a revival of the system of animal sacrifices that was set aside when Christ offered himself, once and for all, as the perfect final sacrifice. After all, how could the Antichrist desecrate that which was not sanctified in the first place?
RESURRECTION EVENT MATRIX
|Who visited the tomb?||Mary Magdalene, the “other Mary”||Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joses||Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, Joanna, and other women||Mary Magdalene|
|Why visit the tomb?||To see the tomb||To bring spices||To bring spices||Body already spiced before they arrived|
|Was the tomb open before they arrived?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Who was waiting at the tomb?||One angel||One young man||Two men||Two angels|
|What were the messengers doing?||Sitting on the stone||Sitting inside, to the right||Standing inside||Sitting on each side of the stone|
|What did the messengers say?||Meet Jesus in Galilee||Meet Jesus in Galilee||Jesus is risen like he told you||“Woman why weepest thou?”|
|Who did Jesus appear to first?||The women who visited the tomb.||Two disciples in the country||Two disciples in Emmaus||Mary Magdelene|
|Where did the risen Jesus first meet the disciples?||Mountain in Galilee||To the Eleven at a meal||Emmaus||In a room|
|What happened when they met?||Disciples worshiped, some doubted||Jesus reprimanded them||Jesus materialized, reprimanded them, then ate||Jesus passed through locked door, blessed disciples, no reprimand|
|How long did Jesus linger after the resurrection?||.||One day||One day||Eight days|
|Where did the ascension take place?||No ascension||Jerusalem||Bethany||No ascension|
The Ontological Argument
1. God is, by definition, a being greater than anything that can be imagined.
2. Existence both in reality and in imagination is greater than existence solely in one’s imagination.
3. Therefore, God must exist in reality: if God did not, God would not be a being greater than anything that can be imagined.
Linux Gal: Being imagined is not itself existence, of any sort. To say God exists in the understanding, meaning it the way you do, presupposes his existence. You are assuming your conclusion.
Windows Guy: By analogy the Mandelbrot Set does not have existence in the physical world, only in the imagination. But it can be defined and generated in such a way that anyone in the world can independently study the same features of this mathematical object that exists only in the mindscape. In the same way, when speaking of the universe’s Creator and First Cause, Who is necessarily one, the names for Him may vary but the object in the mindscape corresponding to this God, together with his attributes, is the same for all men.
Linux Gal: But God is not a possible being. Is omnipotence possible? Can god create something so indestructible that even he could not destroy it?
Windows Guy: Creating an indestructible object that can be destroyed renders the word “indestructible” of no effect.
Linux Gal: Could God create a square that has all the mathematical properties both of a square, and also of a circle?
Windows Guy: No, for the same reason God cannot produce a triangle with four sides — such an object is a parallelogram, not a triangle. It is not a limit on God’s power to be unable to do the logically incoherent.
Linux Gal: Could he have not created a world just as we have now, except where people who die of cancer at least die quickly and still meet his mysterious goals? If he were all good, wouldn’t he want to?
Windows Guy: If people died quickly of cancer, more people would die before faith healing or a miraculous remission occurred. If people die slowly of cancer, this gives more opportunities for a recovery at the expense of suffering.
Linux Gal: If something exists only in the understanding, then by definition – it isn’t. It does not exist. It is not actual. Only thoughts and memories exist in the mind. Thus, it could not have been “greater than it is”, because it “isn’t” in the first place.
Windows Guy: An oral contract exists only in the understanding of the parties involved, yet it exists, and courts will often award damages in the event of a breach.
Linux Gal: Not all things we imagine really exist. Here’s the fatal flaw in your whole argument, Windows Guy. You consider existence to be an attribute. You’re saying, “There’s this god, see, and he has to also have the property of existence, or he wouldn’t be as great as we define him to be.” But that’s a disallowed operation. Existence is not a predicate. First you have to have something, then you can talk about what properties it has.