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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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Cracking the Code

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Is there a secret message in the Bible?

 

It is not often that the newspapers publish material which points to the divine inspiration of the Bible. The Daily Mail did just that in its three day review of the bestseller The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin. This book is based on the discovery of a code in the Torah made by Israeli Professor Eliahu Rips.

 

Rips took all the words in the Torah, deleted the spaces between them and turned them into a continuous strand of 304805 letters. Then he used a computerised searching tool and a skip code, called equidistant letter sequences, to find names and phrases.

 

The Daily Mail explained how this was done: Rips explained that each code is a case of adding every fourth or twelfth or fiftieth letter to form a word. Skip X spaces, and another X spaces, and another X spaces, and the hidden message is spelled out. This is best explained by reading the paragraph below starting at the first letter and skipping every three letters.

 

Rips ExplAineD thaT eacH codE is a Case Of adDing Every fourth or twelfth or fiftieth letter to form a code. The hidden message is READ THE CODE.

 

Michael Drosnin read articles on the subject written by Israeli scientists and collected information delivered at various lectures. He then did his own research and claimed that from this he was able to predict major events like the rise of Hitler, mans conquest of the moon and the Gulf War. In the opening pages of his book he also claims that through the Torah codes he was able to predict the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and sent him a letter warning of this a year before it happened.

 

Unfortunately for Drosnin, Professor Rips has disclaimed these conclusions, saying, All attempts to extract messages from the Torah codes or to make predictions based on them are futile and of no value. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the scientific research regarding the Torah codes is that they exist and that they’re not a mere coincidence.

 

So is Drosnin’s book just another hoax, sending people off on a wild goose chase trying to use the Bible as a crystal ball? Probably. In fact there may well be something supernatural behind it, but from the wrong source. This feeling I had was strengthened by the following circumstances.

 

The words of a Book that is sealed

 

The final edition of the Daily Mails Bible Code series came out on Friday May 30th. I had bought the two previous editions the day they came out, but forgot to buy that edition and therefore did not read it that day. On the evening of 30th May I was to preach at a Messianic fellowship in Essex. In the course of the meeting as the worship was taking place before I spoke, I felt the Lord was saying that I should not give my prepared message, but speak instead on Isaiah 29, which I did. Two issues which I dealt with from that passage were the prophecy of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem which comes in the opening verses of the chapter and the verse which says The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. (verse 11).

 

It sent something of a chill down my spine when a few days later someone sent me the Daily Mail for May 30th and I discovered that the main subject of the final article of the series was Isaiah 29 and the two issues I had spoken about at the fellowship that evening. There were some similarities and one very significant difference.

 

Isaiah 24-29 contains prophecies which deal with the terrible events at the end of this age centring on the last war over Jerusalem. The Bible code article in the Daily Mail for May 30th warns of a catastrophic war involving nuclear weapons centring on Jerusalem. The article connects this to the fall of Communism and nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union falling into the hands of terrorists.

 

The article also connects the wars of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38-39 (an invasion of Israel from the north) and the New Testament prophecies concerning Armageddon to warnings discovered in the Bible code. It says that the two dates which come out of the code for this are 2000 and 2006. After describing the horrors of nuclear war, the article relates this to the verses from Isaiah 29.4-5:

 

Brought low, you will speak from the ground, your speech will mumble out of the dust, your voice will become ghostlike from the Earth, out of the dust you will whisper. And your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. It will happen suddenly in an instant.

 

The article comments that this is an odd description of an ancient siege, but a perfect vision of the aftermath of a nuclear strike and counter strike. And then there is the curious, cryptic passage: For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a book. They remain sealed, until now, revealed by a code that may exist to warn us at the critical moment of the impending atomic attack.

 

The article concludes by stating that the code could only be revealed in our time, because of the need for computers to crack it. The reason for revealing it now is to help us to avoid the catastrophic end of human history. It says:

 

The code is more than a warning. It may contain the information we need to prevent the predicted disaster. The words code will save appear right above atomic holocaust, just below the End of Days - the biblical Apocalypse. The Bible code is not a promise of divine salvation. It is not a threat of inevitable doom. It is just information. Its message is that we can save ourselves.

 

Conclusions

 

It is interesting that sceptics investigating the Bible code have generally come to the conclusion that there is something in it. It is also significant that its warning of a coming catastrophe involving all nations and centring on Jerusalem is the one we have spoken of many times in this magazine.

 

However you don’t need to crack a secret code or use computers to come to this conclusion. It is there to read in the plain and open meaning of the text. For example Zechariah 12-14 describes the end time confrontation of all nations of the world that come against Jerusalem and the Messianic deliverance which comes at that time (incidentally without the nuclear destruction of Jerusalem). However most people prefer not to take the Bible at face value because they cannot come to terms with its implications. As the American writer Mark Twain once said, Its not the things I don’t understand in the Bible that bother me, its the things I do understand.

 

In my talk at the Messianic fellowship on May 30th I gave a different interpretation of the sealed book prophecy of Isaiah 29.11. It was not that the book was sealed because we did not have computers to crack the hidden code until now, but because of a failure to understand and recognise the Messiah.

 

Of all the books in the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah contains the most detailed prophecies of the Messiah - his virgin birth (7.14), that he would be born as a human child but also be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father (9.6); that he would bring a message of good news by the power of the Holy Spirit and perform miracles to confirm this message (61.1); that he would be despised and rejected of men, bear the sins of many, be put to death after a show trial, be laid in a rich mans tomb and rise again from the dead (Chapter 53). All these prophecies speak of the suffering servant Messiah who would redeem all those who trust in Him.

 

There is another set of Messianic prophecies in Isaiah which speak of the Lord coming in judgment to shake terribly the earth (2.19-21) and then reign as King in the Messianic Age or Millennium. In this time the Jewish people are finally re-gathered in peace to Jerusalem, the Temple is rebuilt and swords are beaten into ploughshares and the nations study war no more (Chapter 2.1-4, Chapters 11- 12).

 

Therefore Isaiah remains to a large extent a sealed book until one understands:

 

  1. That Jesus is the Messiah who has literally fulfilled the Suffering Servant prophecies.

 

  2. That this same Jesus is coming back in power and glory to judge all mankind and save the world from complete destruction at the end of this age. Then he will fulfil the prophecies of Isaiah by literally bringing peace to this troubled planet at his return.

 

Will we save ourselves?

 

This leads to the final and most important point of disagreement I have with the conclusion of the Daily Mails Bible Code series. It is not the Bible code which will save us and we certainly cannot save ourselves. The events of the last days will show beyond any shadow of doubt that the human race is controlled by the supernatural power of evil (Satan) from which we can only be saved by the supernatural force of good (God).

 

In fact the humanistic spirit of our time which says that we can save ourselves is one which has correctly been associated with the antichrist spirit of the last days. As New Agers are always looking for hidden (occult) meanings in the Bible, it is quite possible that the information discovered in the Bible code could be used to point people to the coming Antichrist as the deliverer and not to the true Messiah Jesus.

 

With this in mind I was intrigued by a conversation I had while giving out Gospel leaflets in Hampstead, London a few days later with someone heavily into the New Age movement. He told me he was looking for the forces of good and evil, Christ and Antichrist, to be merged into a global transformation of consciousness in the coming days. This is standard New Age mysticism and based on occult ideas. He then said he had bought the Bible Code book the previous day and been up all night reading it. He said it confirmed his view that there is a Bible behind the Bible which people who are initiated with secret wisdom are able to understand. This is a similar view to the secret knowledge of the Gnostics, the main heresy which plagued early Christianity.

 

My conclusion therefore is that there could well be something supernatural about the Bible Codes, but it is not healthy to look into it. The correct response to the warning of coming disaster which is clear in the plain text of the Bible is that we should repent and believe the Gospel.

 

   The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead. Acts 17.30-31.

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