GROWING CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD BECAUSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY
There are several reasons why we can have confidence that the Bible is truly God’s divinely inspired, infallible, inerrant, Word to mankind. It is historically verifiable, it is experientially testable, it is philosophically credible, but perhaps one of the greatest evidences for the Bible’s divine inerrant inspiration is fulfilled prophecy.
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1946, it gave the world irrefutable proof that the contents of the Book of Isaiah were undoubtedly written before the birth of Christ. This means that the passages of detailed prophecies within Isaiah about the coming Messiah must have been written before the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, actually came.
¶ Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
The Isaiah 52-53 passage contains some 40 prophetic details about the coming Messiah, including a sketch of The Christ’s childhood, His appearance, His atoning and redemptive work, His death, the location of His burial, and His resurrection from the dead, which were all precisely fulfilled by Jesus. Here is a survey of some of these passages within Isaiah 53-
1. That there would be nothing outstanding about his appearance
(we note that when Judas betrayed Jesus to the Chief Priests he had to point him out with a kiss) –
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
2. That His execution would involve being “pierced”
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
3. That He would be silent before His accusers
¶ He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
4. That He would tried in a court of Judgment and falsely accused
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
5. That His death would be a substitutionary atonement
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
6. That He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
7. That He would die and rise again, from the dead
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(11) Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Apparently the odds of one human being fulfilling these 7 prophecies within their lifetime is something like one in a trillion trillion. Jesus fulfilled all 40 of these Isaiah prophecies about the Messiah – and those are just the ones from the chapters 52 and 53!
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
When we look at what Christ Himself prophesied, particularly as it related to the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by 70AD, the amount of detail on the public record before it was precisely happened is stunning! [Watch my YouTube explanation of this]
But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
What Christ foretold of in Matthew 24 seemed most unlikely at the time. Yet, historians have noted that what proceeded after Christ gave these prophetic declarations was uncannily fulfilled-
The forty years that intervened before the destruction of Jerusalem were full of these in all directions; but we may probably think of the words as referring specially to wars, actual or threatened, that affected the Jews- such, e.g., as those which we read under Caligula, Claudius, and Nero (citing Plumptre).
The Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary on the New Testament, Lewis and Booth, London, 1896, page 552
Even Christ’s statements about earthquakes in Matthew 24 seems odd until you read some of the historical reports of the unusual amount earthquake activity in that region between 30AD to 70AD – some of which is also recorded in the New Testament.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Once again, both the New Testament and the first century historian, Josephus, record that there were an increasing number of severe earthquakes leading up to 70AD –
(286) for there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. (287) These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.
Josephus, Flavius, The Works of Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 4 Chapter 4
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
The New Testament records that earthquakes commenced at the crucifixion of Christ (Matthew 27:54) and His resurrection (Matt. 28:2).
The New Testament also describes peculiar (“great”) famines taking place in the mid first century.
Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
(Extract from The Most Embarrassing Verse In The Bible)
Bible prophecies from both the Old and New Testaments which can be demonstrably shown to have been fulfilled are an extremely persuasive evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration and proof for the existence of the God of the Bible. While many Christians speculate about what they feel the Bible prophesies regarding today’s world events, we are always on solid ground when we point to those Scriptures from the Old Testament which foretold of Christ, and those from the New Testament which were foretold by Christ including His own death, resurrection, and what He foretold about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple.
And when it comes to teaching on some of the most difficult subjects, such as End Times, discover why thousands of pastors from around world have found the eBook, THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE so helpful for them to understand what the Church’s role in this world should be amidst the shrill of so many Bible-Prophecy ministries which forecast doom and gloom. Check it out and you’ll see why. PREVIEW