The supernatural nature of Biblical prophecy is undeniable as over 2000 prophecies have already been fulfilled without error... 500 still lie in the future.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Bible would have to be the hundreds of prophecies that were predicted and then fulfilled. Amazingly, many more are still being fulfilled to this day.
Why does the bible offer prophecy? This answer is found in Isaiah 46:9-10:
“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come."
There isn't a single prophecy from the Bible that has been proven false. A large number of prophecies remain in the future, but all that have come to pass have been verified to be true.
Seven hundred years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah miraculously foretold of the coming messiah in the 53rd chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah:
"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:4-6
The ministry of Jesus Christ alone fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies that were predicted several hundred years earlier.
The New Testament prophecies made by Jesus are miraculously accurate. One example was Jesus predicting in (Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13) that the massive Jewish Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. The prediction may not have made sense to those that originally heard it, but this event would take place less than 40 years later. Due to a Jewish revolt, the Romans began a siege of the City of Jerusalem. After several months, the Roman army finally breached the city's defenses on September 8th in the year 70 A.D.. Once the Romans reclaimed the city, the citizens of Jerusalem were massacred, the 2nd temple was leveled as Jewish people were now to be scattered across the Roman world as a persecuted minority.
In regards to prophecy about the Jewish people specifically, the Bible predicted:
The dispersion of the Jews worldwide: - Deuteronomy 28:64.
The worldwide persecution of the Jews: - Deuteronomy 28:65-67.
The desolation of the Jewish homeland: - Deuteronomy 29:22-28.
The preservation of the Jewish people: - Deuteronomy 30:3.
The Bible prophesied that the Hebrew language would be revived in the end times (Zephaniah 3:9), and that is exactly what happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the efforts of one man - Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Today, the people of Israel speak a modern form of Biblical Hebrew.
With the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, this small nation is still at the center of geopolitical conflict over 70 years later. The Bible prophetically says that Jerusalem will be re-occupied by the Jews (Zechariah 12:2-3 & 6), and that it will eventually become the flash-point of world politics (Zechariah 12:3).
Popular Old Testament prophets including Isaiah, Daniel and Zechariah and the Apostle John in the New Testament all wrote about a variety of events that describe our world today.
In the 6th century B.C., the prophet Ezekiel, who died around 570 B.C., predicted the destruction of the island fortress city of Tyre in Ezekiel 26:4-5. At the time of Ezekiel, Tyre was the capital of Phoenicia, but the island fortress with walls and towers had yet to be built.
"They will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers.
I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock.
She will be a place where fishing nets are spread, surrounded by the sea.
For I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
She will become plunder for the nations."
Two hundred years later (in 332 B.C.), Alexander the Great laid siege and destroyed everything, leaving nothing behind but bare rock. Today, the coastal area around the former fortress city of Tyre ironically includes a fishing village where fishing nets are dried just as Ezekiel predicted.
Modern day fishing nets of Tyre
The Old Testament book of Daniel is full of amazing prophecy about the Mideast. There are many Biblical references to the dangers that technology and modern warfare pose to humanity.
Popular culture usually gives credit to 3rd century Greeks for the discovery that the earth was round, Yet Isaiah wrote about a "round" Earth over a thousand years earlier where it says:
"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in."
The End Times
The Bible has many vivid descriptions of end times events. Prophesy often refers to the wear of Mankind on the earth and society. Many verses point to a dystopian world where technology and immorality bring havoc to an imploding society. We witness these societal trends developing today.
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Avoid such people." - 2 Timithy 3:1-5 (ESV)
With countless distractions from modern technology, career, family and a multitude of entertainment options, faith and religion become less important to the masses. There are several references in the Bible to modern society's self-serving rejection of the scriptures.
Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing,
following their own sinful desires.
They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming?
For ever since the fathers fell asleep,
all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
- 2 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV)
As society turns away from God, His teachings and heavenly wisdom become distant as civilization falls into conflict. There are a number of prophecies relating to end-time war, famine, plagues and pestilences. Most people are aware of end-time prophecy in the book of Revelation, yet even Jesus warned of these issues in Luke 21:5-32.
"There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." - Luke 21:11
In the 6th chapter of Revelation, the apostle John prophesies about his end-times visions of the four horsemen.
"I looked, and there before me was a white horse!
Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown,
and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." - Revelation 6:2
Most scholars see the rider of this horse as the Antichrist. He will arrive on the world scene at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation to unite the nations and sign a peace treaty with Israel. Since the antichrist misleads the world into thinking that he represents peace, he is the counterfeit version of the true white horse, Jesus, who eventually defeats the beast in Revelation 19:11-14.
"Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.
Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth
and to make people kill each other.
To him was given a large sword." - Revelation 6:4
Almost all scholars agree that the red horse represents war and violence. Nation will rise against nation during the Tribulation and individuals against each other.
"When the Lamb opened the third seal,
I heard the third living creature say, “Come!”
I looked, and there before me was a black horse!
Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand." - Revelation 6:5
Most scholars interpret the black horse to represent famine. Others see it as economic destruction.
"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal,
I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”
I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!
Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.
They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword,
famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." - Revelation 6:7-8
Once again, virtually all scholars see the pale horse as representing death, plagues, disease and pestilences. These events must come to pass before God's judgment for the sins of mankind.
Interesting "End Times" Prophecy
On a lighter note...
Located in Revelation 11:9 and prophesied by the apostle John around 95 A.D., the prediction was made that many nations would view the same event within a few days time. Today, billions of people from around the world can now view the same events through mass digital, fiber optic and satellite communications. When the prediction was made, communicating across the Roman Empire took months of time.
"For three and a half days those from every people, tribe, nation, and language will look at their corpses, because they will not permit them to be placed in a tomb."
Written in a comparative primitive era during the 6th century B.C., the prophet Daniel made a stark prediction about future technology and the acquisition of knowledge.
“But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase.” - Daniel 12:4
One of my favorite Biblical prophecies comes from the Old Testament prophet Nahum who lived over 2500 years ago. It is in Nahum 2:4 where he incredibly foretold of the modern automobile:
“The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.”
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