The Word of God

The Bible - the Word of God

Fulfilled Prophecy
The Bible is the only prophetic book of all the books of major religions. It is the only book containing many specific predictions that have actually come to pass. The Bible asks us to test its truth by comparing its prophetic accuracy with that of other religions.

God challenged other religions to prove their case by describing the past and predicting the future accurately as He did: "Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods" (Isaiah 41:21-23). (See also Isaiah 44:6-8; 45:21.) God promises that His Word will surely come to pass (Isaiah 45:23; 46:9-11).

Someone has estimated that one fourth of all verses in the Bible are predictive, with 1,183 events predicted literally and 634 events predicted symbolically. Even without using symbolic, figurative, or typological predictions, many literal prophecies have already come to pass just as the Bible foretold. The following are some examples of fulfilled prophecy.

Fulfilled prophecies concerning Israel. The Bible records many specific prophecies that have come to pass, including a prediction naming King Josiah 340 years in advance (I Kings 13:2; II Kings 23:15-16) and the prediction about Queen Jezebel's death (I Kings 21:23; II Kings 9:36). Many prophecies about Israel have been fulfilled in exact detail.

The Bible prophesied that Israel would be dispersed (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Jeremiah 15:4; 16:13; Hosea 3:4). The northern kingdom of Israel and its capital Samaria would be overthrown permanently but Judah would be preserved (I Kings 14:15; Isaiah 7:6-9; Hosea 1:6; Micah 1:6-9). Judah and Jerusalem would escape Assyrian conquest but would fall to the Babylonians (Isaiah 39:6; Jeremiah 25:9-12). The Medes and Persians would overthrow Babylon (Isaiah 21:2; Daniel 5:28), and the city and Temple of Jerusalem would be restored through the edict of Cyrus, who was named 176 years before the event (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; Jeremiah 29:10-14). Israel would be regathered (Isaiah 11:11).

Fulfilled prophecies concerning Gentile nations. Examples are the futures of Babylon, Tyre, Egypt, Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia (Isaiah 13-23; Jeremiah 46-51), the destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26), the judgment of Petra in Edom (Obadiah 1-4), and the emergence of the four great empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome (Daniel 2, 7). Daniel 11 describes the conflict between Syria and Egypt in such great detail and with such accuracy that liberal scholars claim the book must have been written after this time.

Fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus the Messiah. The Old Testament predicted, among other things, Christ's lineage from Judah and David, miraculous conception, Galilean ministry, rejection by the Jews, time of birth, place of birth, triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and betrayal for thirty pieces of silver (Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-2; 11:1; 53:3; Daniel 9:25; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; 11:12).

The Bible predicted many details of Christ's trial and death, including the silence of Christ when accused, smiting and spitting, punishment with criminals, piercing of hands and feet, mockery, offering of gall and vinegar, casting of lots for His garments, bones of His body not broken, burial with the rich, resurrection, and ascension (Psalm 16:10; 22:6-8, 16-18; 34:20; 68:18; 69:21; Isaiah 50:6; 53:1-12; Zechariah 12:10).

Fulfilled prophecies concerning the latter days. Many latter-day prophecies have already been fulfilled partially or totally, such as the restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 37), increase of knowledge and travel (Daniel 12:4), outpouring of the Spirit (Joel 2:28), destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24:1-2), continuance and increase of false christs, wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, false prophets, and backsliding (Matthew 24:4-12), preservation of a remnant of Israel (Romans 11:5, 25), and increase of wickedness (II Timothy 3:1-13).

The Test of True Prophecy
Having established the Bible as the Word of God, we can use it to test all other messages claiming divine inspiration or approval. Indeed, the Bible commands us to judge all prophecies and to test all spirits (I Corinthians 14:29; I John 4:1). The Bible gives the following tests of true prophecy.

True prophecy will always affirm the worship of the one true God. If a prophet, dreamer, or miracle worker teaches the people to go after other gods, he is false (Deuteronomy 13:1-11). Only false prophets will seek counsel from mediums, spiritists, witches, or wizards instead of God (Isaiah 8:19-20).
True prophecy will always conform to the teaching of the Scriptures. Only false prophets will contradict God's law (Isaiah 8:20). If a man or an angel preaches any other gospel he is accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). Any spirit that refuses to confess the incarnation of Jesus Christ is antichrist (I John 4:3).

If a prophecy does not come to pass it is not of God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

Every book of the Bible conforms to these standards, and so will all truth proclaimed by godly preachers today.

The evidence testifies overwhelmingly to the divine inspiration, supreme authority, and infallibility of the Bible as the Word of God. The Bible itself testifies to its unique status, and to reject its claims is to reject the authority of Jesus Christ.

We can demonstrate its inspiration by an analysis of its character, by historical and scientific verification, and by its impact upon human society. We can also prove the Bible by applying it to our own lives and experiencing its dynamic power personally. Finally, the fulfilled prophecies of the Scriptures are an amazing testimony to its supernatural character.

God has challenged us to prove His Word; when we do we will find it to be true in every way. The Bible then becomes the standard of truth by which we measure all things. Once we have proved and tested the Word of God for ourselves, we can wield it as "the sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17). With this invincible weapon we can vanquish all foes-unbelief, temptation, sin, and Satan himself. (excerpt from "THE BIBLE: Its Origin and Use, Word Aflame Elective Series")

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