By Grant B. Caldwell
One of the most convincing of all the proofs offered in behalf of the proposition that the Bible is the word of God is that of Biblical prophecy. Prophecy is not a thing peculiar to the Bible. Many are the men and women who prophesy freely. The test, however, of a true prophet of God is the fulfillment of all of his prophecies. The Bible declares that in this way the Lord shows His superiority. (Isaiah 41:2127; 42:8-9; 46:8-11) The Bible says that if a prophecy is not fulfilled, it shows the prophet presumptuous and not from God. (Deuteronomy 18:22) If then, the Bible is from God, all of its prophecies must either have already been fulfilled or they will be (depending on the type of prophecy).
But what is true prophecy? Surely it is more than just prediction. I could predict that our president will be elected to a second term. If statistics were in my favor and it happened, no one would say I was a prophet. Notice the following qualifications of true prophecy:
1. An event or a point of knowledge beyond the power of man to see.
2. It must not be seen in reference to fear or hope.
3. It cannot be a political or scientific forecast.
4. A prophecy of an event must take place before said event happens and must be applicable to it.
5. The language must be clear and the fulfillment plain.
Types of Prophecy
For the purposes of this discussion, we would like to break down the Bible prophecies into three different categories. The first would be those prophecies dealing with the people of God. The second deals with those in reference to other nations. Then finally, those prophecies which are Messianic in nature.
We will not deal with all of the prophecies in any of these categories. This, of course, is not possible in limited space. We only wish to impress your minds with the completion of that which the Lord has said He would do.
Prophecies of God’s People
In Deuteronomy 28, there is one of the most remarkable and detailed prophecies ever uttered. Moses predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, some 1500 years before it was fulfilled in 70 A.D. The “nation from afar off” was the Romans-the fierce men of battle. Josephus tells of the mother who ate her own child and of the number slain and of those taken prisoners. All prophesied long before not only the event, but even the making of Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish nation as well.
The prophecy of Baalam in Numbers 23 and 24 concerning the people of God, their number, ruler, and captivity was fulfilled in 2 Samuel 8 and 2 Kings 17.
Consider the prophecy concerning Ishmael. (Genesis 16:10-12; 17:20) Read of the “twelve princes” in Gen. 25:12-17. The other prophecies are easily understood by any good student of Arabian history.
Prophecies of Other Nations
We will not take the time to describe in detail the prophecies made in regard to these nations. Suffice it to say that the history and downfall of each was predicted hundreds of years before the events took place. These prophecies include:
1. The fall of Babylon (Isa. 13:19-22; Isa. 14; Jer. 50).
2. The fall of Egypt (Isa. 19; Ezek. 29-30).
3. The fall of Nineveh (Nahum; Zeph. 2:1315; Isa. 10: 12-14).
4. The fall of Tyre (Isa. 23; Ezek. 26:2728; Zech. 9:3-4).
5. The fall of Sidon (Ezek. 28:20-24).
How could these predictions have been made in such clear fashion, without divine help? Even ESP will not derive such benefits.
There is no more beautiful proof to the validity of the Bible than the prophecies made with reference to Christ and His life here on earth. Notice just briefly now a few of the messianic prophecies.
1. His coming (Genesis 12:3; Jer. 23:5-6; Isa. 9:6; etc.).
2. The time of his coming (Isa. 2:2; Joel 2:28; Dan. 2:44; Compare Luke 2:1; Mal. 3: 1 ; Hag. 2: 7; Gen. 49: 10; Dan. 9: 2 5; etc.).
3. The place of Christ’s birth (Micah 5:2; compare Matt. 2:1).
4. His forerunner (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; 4:5).
5. His death (Isa. 53:8; Psa. 22:16-18; Isa. 50:6; Psa. 22:6-11; Zech. 12:10; etc.).
6. His resurrection (Isa. 5 3: 10; Psa. 68: 18; etc.).
Now read the life of Christ in the Bible. As you leaf through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, see if you are not thoroughly impressed with the fulfillment of the prophecies made with reference to Christ. At a later time, we will have occasion to deal with these prophecies again.
How can anyone say that the Bible its not the word of God and be entirely honest with all of this evidence? We have noticed a broad spectrum of things ranging from external proof such as scientific foreknowledge to internal evidences such as those only hinted at in this article.
The Bible is the word of God and should always be reverenced as such. Will you not today accept it as such and live by its dictates throughout all of your life? If you will, the prophecy of life with God will be fulfilled for you in the after-awhile. If not, the prophecy of eternal doom will be a miserable reality for you in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Do you believe it? I do!!! The Bible says it and it is the Word of God!!!
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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” (2 Peter 1: 19-2 1).
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 32, pp. 6-7
June 15, 1972