A book written by a New Age-oriented Jew named Michael Drosnin has been making quite a stir in both the secular and Christian communities. In The Bible Code, published by major New York publisher Simon & Schuster, Drosnin claims to have used an advanced computer to discover coded, hidden prophecies in the scriptures. Because of its dramatic, futuristic content, the book has gripped the public's imagination. It is currently on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.
Drosnin says that by analyzing biblical passages, using computer methodology and acrostics (letter-searching in sequences), he is able to find stunning information that would have predicted in advance such historical events as the Persian Gulf War and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Using the same methodology, Michael Drosnin says he has found prophecies which dramatically point to future, potential calamities such as giant earthquakes and a nuclear conflict which will lead to the "end of the world."
Playing the Odds
As readers will remember, in the March 1996 issue of Flashpoint, I reported on the study by Professor Eliyahu Rips and other mathematicians at Hebrew University in Israel which claimed to have found the actual names of 20th century persons sequentially coded within the lettering of passages of the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). Statistically, the odds of this happening by chance were stated to be "one in 50,000,000,000,000,000."
It appeared from the results of this study that only a divine intelligence (God) could have created such a coding system. But significantly, the Hebrew University study did not make any outlandish predictions about future events, nor did it comment about past events. Nevertheless, it was the Rips study that seemed to ignite a spate of new books about hidden codes in the Bible. Drosnin's books and others similar to it attempt to titillate the public with scary prophecies which are claimed to have been encoded and concealed by a divine intelligence in the Bible text.
Is the Bible Code Scientific? Is it Scriptural?
The question is: Are the books by people like Drosnin on target? Are they scientifically valid?
More important, are the contents and suppositions in these books scriptural? Is it feasible that there are, indeed, coded, concealed prophecies contained in the Bible? Can any corporation or organization, or any man or woman with an advanced computer, ferret out and discover such hidden prophecies?
Is God's prophetic Word open only to the computer literate? In sum, are these books by the decoders valid, or just a bunch of ridiculous, sensationalist hooey?
To answer these pertinent questions, we turn not to a computer program, or to mathematicians or scientists, but to the Bible. What does God say in His Word?
In II Peter 1:19-21 the Word of God cautions that "no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation." In other words, prophecy is not the private province of any person by virtue of a special and unique method of interpretation.
Every Christian alive today is privileged to read the same prophetic scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. Understanding comes from reading the plain and clear prophecies in the written Word of God, the King James Bible. The individual Christian is led to understanding by the Holy Spirit:
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. (II Peter 1:21)
Thus, we can know for sure that Drosnin and all others who claim that a computer or an acrostic analysis system can be used to render a "private interpretation" of prophecy are sadly mistaken. The Holy Spirit doesn't need a computer or lettering game to impart the clear, unvarnished prophetic Word to true believers.
Prophecy Revealed to God's Chosen
Further, the Bible states that God does nothing except He reveals it first to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). Is Michael Drosnin a "servant" and "prophet" of God? By his own admission, he is not. In his book, The Bible Code, Drosnin confesses that he is not religious. He does not even believe in a personal God! According to Drosnin, it is not God the Father but some sort of New Age intelligence force that encoded these supposed prophesies in the Bible a force Drosnin occasionally labels as "it" or a "friend."
Drosnin's man-made coding system is not revealed to him by God because "the natural (unsaved) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14).
There's yet another way we can know that Drosnin and his "Code" are frauds. The whole purpose of Bible prophecy is to foresage and chronicle the coming of Jesus Christ in majesty and power. But interestingly, Drosnin's book does not give positive mention of Jesus Christ as a key figure in the prophetic drama. He is totally forgotten. In contrast Revelation 19:10 tells us that the revelation of Jesus Christ is the very "Spirit of Prophecy."
The Bible Code is Inaccurate
Yet another truth detection principle we can use to evaluate Drosnin's theoretical "Bible Code" is to analyze and judge its accuracy. I have found that, on rare occasions, false prophets from astrologers to psychics and now the decoders are sometimes uncannily accurate. But the test of a true prophet of the Lord is that he or she is always 100% correct. This is an iron-clad criterion (see Deut. 18), and Elijah, Jeremiah, and others were always right in their prophetic vision. In Old Testament days, the prophets of Israel who erred in even one small aspect of their prophecy were punished by being stoned to death by the outraged religious people who recognized these men as deceivers.
Does Drosnin's method produce 100% accuracy as required by the scriptures? Not on your life. For example, Drosnin says that the key year 1996 was encoded in the Bible as the year for such staggering events as an "atomic war;" the Israeli takeover of "Amman, Jordan;" and a "holocaust of Israel" to occur. Naturally, none of these prophesied events occurred in 1996.
Drosnin cleverly attempts to divert the reader's attention from this grievous error by contending that the word "delayed" was also encoded in the Bible text. Moreover, Drosnin suggests that we, as human beings, can reverse "God's" plan. He says we possess the power to change the future, to affect and influence prophetic events according to our own, collective wills. Drosnin explains that the prophecies only warn of what could happen if man doesn't voluntarily change his ways.
If Drosnin is right, then it is man, and not God, who holds the keys to man's and the cosmos' future. God has programmed events that will occur only if man chooses to allow them. But, does this arrogant form of man-centered theology line up with the Word of God?
Our Futures Determined by God AloneDrosnin and the decoders are again proven dead wrong. Daniel (9:26-27 and 11:36) tells us that the prophecies are "determined" by God, and are unchangable by man. Jesus declared, "I have told you before" (Matthew 24:25 and John 14:29). The Scriptures advise us that God knew and planned the end from the very beginning. Man has no absolute, minute knowledge of the final timetable. Jesus said that only our Father in Heaven knows the day and the hour of Jesus' return and the end (Matthew 24:35-36).
A wise and omniscient God has determined our future, and that of the Earth, in advance. He is master of time and events. We are not. The Bible Code is demonstrated to be pure malarkey. It will inject only confusion into the world and will not lend to our understanding.
Scientists Say Drosnin's Work is Flawed
We must wisely judge things like this on whether they conform to Scripture. But, in Drosnin's case, it seems that even the scientists have concluded that the "code" is just a giant, silly, unscientific hoax. Hebrew University Professor Eliyahu Rips, who authored the original study of a possible hidden code (as I reported in Flashpoint) has been faxing letters warning people about Drosnin's work. Rips, an Orthodox Jew who professes a belief in God, emphatically states: "I do not support Mr. Drosnin's work on the codes, nor the conclusions he derives the book is on extremely shaky ground."
Rabbi Daniel Mechanic, a noted Professor of the Torah in Israel, agrees. He says that Drosnin's mass-market decoder book is statistically invalid with "no interpretive power."
Meanwhile, Harold Gans, a retired cryptologist with the National Security Agency, told U.S.A. Today (June 4, 1997, p. 8D), that, "Mr. Drosnin's claims are unreliable." Gans warns that, using such unreliable methods, you can find all kinds of nonsensical, so-called "hidden messages" in the scriptures. You can even find "Drosnin is the Messiah" if you acrostically search long enough! "It makes no sense and you cannot develop a meaningful statistic on it," Gans insists.
|Michael Drosnin's The Bible Code and "Christian" books like it don't add up. The scientists conclude that these type of prophetic codes are not valid statistically and are utterly meaningless. More important, the Bible confirms their uselessness.
Truth Not Proven by Man's Science
Thus, some noted Rabbis and most scientists agree that Drosnin's prophetic code is all wet. But, as Christians, we do not need either the Rabbis nor the scientists to inform us. In Flashpoint, I occasionally cite a scientific study, like the Hebrew University study of coded names in the Bible, which seems to confirm what we Christians already know by faith that the Bible could only have been written by God.
Science is not, however, the determiner of what is Truth. Science is a body of ever changing theories and cannot be safely used to predict the future. Science is a dismal teacher and has always been so. It was, after all, the scientists who once taught that the Earth is flat and who confidently declared that, "Man will never fly." Then came Christopher Columbus, and the Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk.
How to Know Bible Prophecy
Christian friends, don't look for the future to be revealed by unsaved, ungodly authors or by a computer program. You may just as well use tea leaves, the entrails of animals, or a Ouija board. All such methods are about equally predictive and equally flawed. But if you really share with me a love of Bible prophecy, please read and study God's Word. It's all there, in plain King James English. And if you have a passionate heart for truth and ears to hear, the Holy Spirit will instruct your understanding. Then, and only then, will you know of things to come, including the good news of the second coming of our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy ghost teacheth For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:12-16).