- Category: Why the Bible?
1) What is the challenge of the God of the Bible who claims to be the only true God?
‘I declared the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them.
Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass...Therefore I declared them to you long ago, Before they took place I proclaimed them to you, So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them’’ (Isaiah 48:3,5).
It makes sense.
Only the true God, the Architect of Man’s destiny, can foretell events of Man’s history.
2) Where does this God make His prophetic declarations?
The God of the Bible declares numerous prophecies in his book.
- Usually religious books do not have a system of prophecy, other than some ambiguous statements.
- But more than 33% of the Bible is prophetic. Its prophets predicted the future of many cities, nations and empires as well. The Bible foretold outcomes of impending wars, destiny of men and specific events to the minute detail, decades, centuries and millennia before they happened.
This test is simple - if its prophecies do come true, then the Bible would indeed have a strong claim to be the written Word of the true God, the Director of Man’s history - the One in-charge.
Numerous Prophecies Already Fulfilled
Prophecies on Great World Empires and Emperors
3) Did the Bible predict World Empires, Emperors and their actions?
The Bible did prophesy about all the major World Empires ahead of time. Some samples:
|Predicted||732 BC||Assyria will conquer Egypt and Ethiopia (Isaiah 20:3-5)|
|Fulfilled||673-670 BC||Assyria conquers the northeast African nations|
|Predicted||701 BC||The Babylonian Empire will take Israel captive (Isaiah 39)|
|Fulfilled||597 BC 586 BC||Babylon takes the Israelites as captives and sacks Jerusalem. It totally destroys Jerusalem.|
|Predicted||732 BC||The Medo-Persian Empire will conquer Babylon (Isaiah 13:17-20) and Babylon will become a wasteland never to be inhabited again!|
|Fulfilled||538 BC 275 BC||The Medes take over Babylon. The Seleucids force all inhabitants to leave. The site of Babylon lies 50 miles from Baghdad. It’s still a ruin uninhabited! Wars destroy cities, but they get rebuilt (Eg. Berlin). But not Babylon! A precise prediction.|
|Predicted||543 BC||A great Greek king will conquer the Persian Empire, but his kingdom will not go to his heirs, but divided four ways after he dies (Daniel 8 & 11).|
|Fulfilled||330 BC 281 BC||Alexander the Great defeats Persia. The Greek generals who succeed Alexander reach an agreement after years of war to split the kingdom four ways, shutting out (and killing) his heirs.|
Future of Cities
City of Tyre
4) What was the Bible’s prophecy on the City of Tyre?
Ezekiel 26:1-14 contained a really specific prediction concerning Tyre, the commercial hub of the world for centuries. This city included an island 0.5 miles out. Six main points stand out in the prophecy -
- Many nations would attack Tyre (Eze 26:3).
- Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the mainland city (26:8).
- The city’s debris would be cast into the water (26:12).
- Tyre’s dirt/dust would be scraped down to the bare rock then thrown into the sea (26:4,12).
- Fishermen would spread their nets over the site (26:5).
- Tyre would never be built again (26:14).
5) Was this biblical prophecy fulfilled accurately?
- Nebuchadnezzar captured the mainland city fulfilling verses 7-11. Many fled to the island. With no navy, he left.
- 200 years later, Alexander the Great laid siege to Tyre.
- Alexander demolished the old mainland city. With that debris, he built a causeway out to the island city. His army had to scrape the dirt off the old city down to bare rock to smoothen the ramp surface. He conquered the island of Tyre. What an accurate fulfillment of Verses 4 and 12.
- Tyre recovered after a couple of decades. From 314 BC, in fulfillment of Verse 3 many nations sacked and restored the city until its utter destruction in 1291 AD.
- Fulfilling Verse 14, the Tyre of old has never been rebuilt after. Even today, it is the ‘place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea’.
The six biblical predictions on Tyre have been fulfilled in every aspect.
City of Sidon
6) What was the biblical prophecy on the City of Sidon? And how was it fulfilled?
Sidon was Tyre’s sister city. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied about Sidon as well (Ezekiel 28:22-23).
- The prophecy on Sidon was rather different from that of Tyre.
- It was foretold that blood would flow in Sidon’s streets, that her wounded would fall in the midst of her and the sword was to be on her every side.
- But unlike Tyre, Sidon was not predicted to suffer utter annihilation.
- George Davis (The Million Testament Campaign) observed, ‘not once but many times blood has been in her (Sidon’s) streets, her wounded have fallen in the midst of her and the sword has been ‘upon her every side’’.
- Sidon was destroyed many a time, but has always recovered. The city still exists today.
Prophecies on the Life Events of Jesus Christ
7) The Bible is known for prophecies on its promised Messiah (Deliverer/Christ). What were they?
The Bible’s Old Testament was written many centuries before the New Testament of Jesus’ times. Over 300 of its prophecies foretold events to happen in the life of Jesus Christ to the minute detail.
- 700 years before Jesus’ birth, the Prophet Micah predicted the actual small-town where he would be born - But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel (Micah 5:2).
- A 1,000 years before Jesus’ crucifixion, David forecast his resurrection –
‘You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay’ (Psalm 16:10 NIV).
|Events of Jesus’ life||Prophesied||Fulfilled|
|Born of a virgin||Isaiah 7:14||Matthew 1:18,24-25|
|Descendant of Abraham||Genesis 22:18||Luke 3:34|
|A teacher of parables||Psalm 78:2||Matthew 13:34|
|Betrayed by a close friend||Psalm 41:9||Matthew 10:4|
|Silent before his accusers||Psalm 35:11||Matthew 27:12|
|Wounded and bruised||Isaiah 53:5||Matthew 27:26|
|Smitten and spit upon||Isaiah 50:6||Matthew 26:67|
|Crucified with thieves||Isaiah 53:12||Matthew 27:38|
|Hated without a cause||Psalm 69:4||John 15:25|
|Scornful people shook their heads||Psalm 109:25||Matthew 27:39|
|Clothes divided and lots cast||Psalm 22:18||John 19:23-24|
|To suffer thirst||Psalm 22:15||John 19:28|
|Offered gall and vinegar||Psalm 69:21||Matthew 27:34|
|Side was pierced||Zechariah 12:10||John 19:34|
|Committed himself to God||Psalm 31:5||Luke 23:46|
|Bones not broken||Psalm 34:20||John 19:33|
|Buried in a rich man’s tomb||Isaiah 53:9||Matthew 27:57-60|
|There was darkness over the land||Amos 8:9||Matthew 27:45|
Prophecies on the Roman Empire
8) How about the Bible’s New Testament? Does it have prophecies that have been fulfilled?
There are numerous prophecies in the New Testament. Let’s take some examples –
|Prophecies (30-33 AD)||Fulfillments (70 AD and After)|
|Jesus foretells that Herod’s Temple would be destroyed to the last stone (Luke 21:5-6).||The armies of Rome destroy Herod's Temple in 70 AD.|
|Jesus predicts the warning signs that would occur before Jerusalem’s destruction and instructs Christians on what to do then.
When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
(Luke 21:20-21 NIV).
|Around the time Commander Vespasian and his Roman armies surround Jerusalem (after having destroyed all other Israeli fortresses), Emperor Nero commits suicide in Rome. So Vespasian takes his armies back to the Roman capital.
Jerusalem’s Christians remember Jesus's prophetic warning and realize the city’s desolation is near. They flee to the mountains of Petra and escape.
Vespasian becomes the new Emperor. His son Titus comes back and destroys Jerusalem in 70 AD.
|Jesus foretells the suffering that the Israelites are to undergo during the sacking of Jerusalem and afterward.
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:22-24 KJV).
|The Roman armies destroy the Jewish nation during the foretold days of vengeance.
Historian Josephus records more than a million killed (fell by the edge of the sword) during those disastrous four years and almost a hundred thousand led away captive from Jerusalem.
The Israelites are scattered into all nations and Jerusalem is trodden down by the Gentiles for over 19 centuries.
Conclusion - Who is The God of History & Prophecy?
9) How could all of these biblical prophecies be so accurate?
2Peter 1:20-21 answers - Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
10) What do all these fulfillments of biblical prophecies prove?
The Bible says God foresaw His human creations imagining and creating false gods (Romans 1:21-23, Isaiah 44:8-20). So, to challenge these wrong theories, the God of the Bible emphasized it’s only he who can foretell Man’s future. And he seems to have proven it time and again throughout the pages of history.
‘Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning’ (Isaiah 46:9-10).
11) Is there any other equivalent to the Bible in terms of prophesying history?
Not really. No other books, religious or secular, contain such a prophetic arrangement. Even where some texts make predictions, the forecasts seem to be vague and lacking in specifics, whereas biblical prophecies lay down very minute details of the events bound to happen. Indeed, the God of the Bible —the God of history and prophecy, seems to be unchallenged in this aspect.
- Modern science appears to be just catching up with declarations made by the Bible many millennia ago (as we studied in the previous section).
- Documented events of mankind’s history seem to have been consistently and accurately predicted by the Bible well ahead throughout the annals of time.
Both science and history seem to make a strong case in favor of the God of the Bible’s claim to be the Architect of the Universe and the One in-charge of Man’s destiny.
Questions For Further Study
- If the God of the Bible is indeed our Creator and the One in-charge of Man’s destiny, then what kind of God is he?
- Is he fair and just?
- Does he care about his creations?
- If he is so powerful, why does he allow so much evil in the world?
- Why doesn’t he stop suffering and death?
- What exactly is the future this God has planned for mankind?
Read further - Good News (For Real)