I thought I should draw attention to a point that has been stated many
times, but perhaps could bear repeating. When you write that the
Christian messiah rules in heaven, so that he fulfills the passage in
Jeremiah from which you quoted, it should be noted that this is a claim
without any evidence, fitting within the pattern of general Christian
proofs which are invisible. If Jesus rules in a heavenly realm, none of
us can know that. Yet, the passage does contain elements that would be
visible if they had been fulfilled. Jeremiah writes of a time of peace,
a time when Judah will be saved and when Jerusalem would be secure
(Jeremiah 33:16). If these things had happened in the time of Jesus,
they would have been observed and known. However, the opposite happened.
Shortly after the coming of the Christian messiah, no one could say that
Judah had been saved or that Jerusalem dwelt in security. Instead, great
tragedy befell them.
One observes then, that the Christian claims lack credibility, because
any element of a prophecy that could be tested, Jesus is supposed to
have fulfilled in secret. Any elements that would be known publicly, he
did not fulfill. While Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled many
prophecies, these fulfillments must be taken on faith, for they are
private events of which virtually no one had any knowledge. One must be
highly dubious of the claims to fulfilled prophecy that happen in secret.
Let me ask you, honestly, would you accept similar proofs from any other
claimant to the title of Messiah or even Prophet? Let us say a man
arises, claiming to the Jesus returned, and he submits as proof to you
that he just descended from the clouds, privately, in an event witnessed
by few or no one, would you not be right to doubt his claims? Of course
you would be. And, if he claimed that he had been at the right hand of
the Father for the past two millenia, would you accept the mere claim?
Would you pledge him fealty? Would you do his bidding? If not, then on
what grounds do you expect others to behave any differently?
The fulfillment of prophecy in private is not proof of anything, by
nature of the proof being unknown. The missionary claim that Jesus
fulfilled oh-so-many prophecies is baseless, because even if a great
many of those prophecies were not misrepresentations by the Church, they
were fulfilled privately and cannot serve to verify his claims. For
example, he was supposed to have been born in Bethlehem in fulfillment
of messianic prophecy, yet his birth in Bethlehem was a private event,
unknown to the populace. (See John 7:42.) Allowing that Jesus may
actually have been born in Bethlehem—and ignoring questions of Christian
misinterpretation of Micah—this cannot be used as a piece of evidence in
support of the Church’s claim that he is the messiah, because the event
was unknown. His resurrection falls in the same category. It cannot be
used to establish the legitimacy of his prophecy, because it was not
fulfilled publicly. It is an untestable claim.
One must find it highly suspicious that observable prophecies, such as
the security of Jerusalem, were not fulfilled in Jesus’ time, while he
fulfilled all kinds of unobservable prophecies, like sitting on a
spiritual throne far from the eyes of men. All the qualities of the
messiah that one could observe, he does not have. He has only certain
qualities that cannot be observed, that must be accepted on faith—and
under threat of Hellfire everlasting! Of course, the Church tells us
that he will fulfill those publicly observable items later, but then,
that too is nothing more than an unsubstantiated claim, no less dubious.