The validity and power of the Scriptures does not start with faith or belief, nor does God need for us to believe in Him for Him to exist. Facts are true or false, independent of what anyone thinks. Likewise, prophesies either are true or false depending on whether they come to pass or not, independent of who believes the prophesy is valid or invalid. The unique validity of the Scriptures is evident by the fulfilled prophesy given in the Scripture. Prophecy in this case is predicting what will happen before it takes place. Here is what God says about His prophets and their prophesies: “And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19-22) Here God tells us plainly that we have a responsibility to God’s word given through the prophet and also that anyone who claims to be a prophet and is not one hundred percent correct, is not from God. There are serious consequences for anyone claiming to be God’s prophet or mouthpiece here on earth. The Scriptures give examples of false prophets and their destruction.
Prophecy, or the evidence of many fulfilled prophesies, support the authority and inerrancy of God’s Word. It is amazing that the Scriptures about creation are questioned or called allegory by some believers when they are clearly historical narrative, and yet the promise and prediction of Christ’s return are accepted. “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12) God, through the prophets, has told us many things that will come to pass which some are now historically accurate and some which will still be fulfilled. The test for a prophet is complete accuracy; a single error was enough to get the prophet stoned.
In the Scriptures we have many examples of prophecy being fulfilled. God told Abraham that the Hebrews would be slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. “And God said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.’” (Genesis 15:13) Isaiah prophesied over a hundred years before king Cyrus was born that he would be the king that would permit the Jews to return to their land. “’It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’” (Isaiah 44:28)
Jesus fulfilled over three hundred prophesies given in the Old Testament. His place of birth was prophesied in Micah 5:2. “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. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” His time of birth was predicted in Daniel 9:25. “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.” The Scriptures give us the manner of His birth. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) The betrayal of the Messiah is also foretold in the Scriptures. “And I said to them, ‘If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!’ So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.’ So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13) The manner of the Lord’s death and the fact that his bones were not broken shows that God revealed this to the psalmist. “For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (Psalms 22:16-18) The events of His death and burial are also predicted in the Scriptures. “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9) The piercing of His hands, feet, and side (Zechariah 12:10) and the people mocking Him (Psalms 22:7-8) are also foretold. These are just examples of what God said would come to pass being fulfilled. The compound probability of just these eight prophesies being fulfilled is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 10 to the 17th power).1 The probability of one man fulfilling just forty-eight prophesies is 1 in 10 to the 157 th power. Just to reiterate what was stated earlier, Jesus, our Messiah, fulfilled over 300 prophesies concerning His life and death.
Jesus was asked what the signs of His coming and the end of the age would be. “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.’” (Matthew 24:4-8) Since these kinds of events have been occurring since man has fallen and sin has entered the world, Jesus used the phrase “birth pains” to signify that they would become more frequent as the time of His return drew closer. Famines are getting more common then ever before. The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well fed, one-third is under fed, and one-third is starving!2 It is estimated that over four million people will die this year due to starvation or famine. Earthquakes are recorded throughout history. Table 1 shows how earthquake activity has increased in recent history and Table 2 explains the Richter Magnitudes of quake severity. The amount of earthquake activity that was recorded for a century soon became the amount that was recorded in a decade. Now we are experiencing per year close to what was recorded in a decade over the last century. According to the signs we are in the generation to see the Lord’s return.
Prophecy is not just a warning for preparedness for the Messiah’s return; it is also the evidence demanding the reality and inerrancy of God’s word. When you have the evidence of the Divine nature of Scripture by the many fulfilled prophecies there is assurance that what has been prophesied to come will come to pass but any topic covered within the context is authoritative and without error. Just as Christ told them to believe on Him because of His works done as a witness, the church must accept what God says about creation because of the character of God and the fulfillment of the prophesies. If the
Table 1: Increase in Earthquake Activity Around the World
|Time frame/Years||Number of Quakes All Magnitudes||Number ofQuakes 6.1 or Greater|
* Not all the quakes occurring in this time frame had the
† Twelve of these earthquakes occurred in the United States.
Note: Some earthquakes with a magnitude of less than 6.0 are responsible for many fatalities.
Source: Historic Worldwide Earthquakes <http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/world/historical.php> Accessed 2008 Aug 20
Table 2: Earthquake Severity
|Richter Magnitudes||Earthquake Effects|
|Less than 3.5||Generally not felt, but recorded.|
|3.5–5.4||Often felt, but rarely causes damage.|
|Under 6.0||At most slight damage to well-designed buildings. Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions.|
|6.1–6.9||Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers across where people live.|
|7.0–7.9||Major earthquake. Can cause serious damage over larger areas.|
|8 or greater||Great earthquake. Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred kilometers across.|
Source: What is Richter magnitude? <http://www.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/100/magnitude.html> Accessed 2008 Aug 20
prophesies are fulfilled about Messiah, surely the historical narrative of how God created should be without question. The fulfilled prophesy supports Christ’s claim as Messiah, but they also prove the Divine nature of Scripture and its inerrancy.
Is God's Word Important?
It was sadly learned recently that a poll done in the evangelical church revealed that fifty-seven percent of those people taking the poll believed that God provided more than one way for salvation. Apparently those agreeing to this philosophy believe that other religions are just as relevant as Christ for salvation. Granted Christians are charged with being intolerant of other religions, but in reality Christianity shows the most acceptance to others than any “religious system” devised by men and the devil. While Christians are not to accept perversion of Scriptures to make unbelievers more comfortable, unbelievers should be treated the same way we ourselves would want to be treated by them, and we should show the love of Christ for them as honestly as possible. Even we as believers are still fallen men but through Christ we can be a witness to His character and love to them. We cannot allow however, the truth to be undermined with deceit and false doctrines. The Scriptures of God are absolute! He has declared that there is only one way to heaven. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).’” God made one plan for man to obtain salvation. There is no way for man to work his way to God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).” It is easily understood; God made the plan and established the sacrifice of His son as the only way to come in His presence. As the church has compromised with evolution, this poll shows that this compromise will continue to erode the gospel of Christ and the authority of His Word even to those claiming to be His people.