Prophecy

The Purpose of Prophecy

Over the course of the past three decades, I have often experienced great opposition to the teaching of Biblical prophecy. Not from those who do not know God but from those who claim that they do. The question of relevance is the greatest objection. Many Christians simply do not see the importance of prophecy in the total plan of God for mankind. It is assumed that we don’t need to know or understand Bible prophecy because God will work out and complete all prophetic events in His own good time.

What is seldom understood by many Christians is that no person can genuinely understand the Bible nor the plan of salvation, apart from a good working knowledge of Bible prophecy. Contained within the prophecies of this book are the complete plan of salvation and how it applies to each and every person who comes to God for the forgiveness of their sins and the hope of eternal life.

The first group of 50 prophecies in this chapter lay the entire foundation for how, why, and by whom, we are saved. It would be impossible to fully understand your salvation without knowing how these first 50 prophecies predicted the coming Messiah and the specific way in which Jesus fulfilled each one—precisely as they require.

See Also: Eschatology

The issues most significant:

How can we test the reliability of claims that are made about eternal matters? How can we know for certain what is acceptable to God? How do we know that what is taught in the church is the truth?

If we understand that truth is absolute and always very narrow in definition, then we understand that the truth about what God requires will also be very narrow. The Bible declares that there is just one way to heaven. Jesus claimed that He is this one way.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus proved that He is the one way required by God in fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies listed in this book. For someone to legitimately claim that they were the promised Messiah, they would need to be able to demonstrate that they had fulfilled each one of these prophecies flawlessly.

One of the prophetic requirements of the Hebrew scriptures is that the Messiah would rise from the dead. It is well established in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be put to death and then be resurrected. There are 56 Old Testament prophecies listed in this book that specifically state that the Messiah will die for the sins of the world. See this listing under “The Death of the Messiah.”

There are 11 Old Testament prophecies listed in this chapter that specifically state that the Messiah will be raised from the dead. See the listing under “The Resurrection of Jesus.”

All of these prophecies which describe the Messiah’s death and resurrection are fulfilled by Jesus Christ—attested to by fulfillment, recorded in the narrative of the New Testament.

It is by predictive and fulfilled prophecy that we know that the Bible is the only reliable set of documents which prove that they are the words of God. Sixty-six books written by forty authors over a period of more than one thousand five hundred years, yet containing one unified message: “Jesus is the Messiah.” The Bible is unique in that it contains empirical evidence that can be tested. The predictive events that are described in the Old Testament require a prophetic answer. If the answers are found incomplete, inaccurate, or missing all together, then the Bible is not the word of God. If, however, the words that God spoke in the scriptures are later found to be fulfilled precisely as God described them, this demands only once conclusion: The source of these words are transcendent of earth. No human being has the capacity to predict, with precision, events that concern the future. Therefore, the origin of these predictions—have as their source—an intelligence from outside time.

No other publication in the history of mankind has the record of predictive and fulfilled prophecy—superior to the Bible. One hundred percent of every prediction that God has made in the Hebrew and Greek scriptures has been fulfilled flawlessly. It was the intent of God that by fulfilled prophecy, we would understand that the source of the words contained in the Bible are from God, not from man.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?”—22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Romans 4:17 God, who… calls those things which do not exist as though they did…

Test Of A Prophet

The test for whether a word spoken by someone who claims to be a prophet of God—is valid—is determined by their fulfillment. If any word or part of the prophecy fails, the person who spoke the prediction is called a false prophet; and no one should listen to that person.[1] If, however, the words that are spoken in each of these prophecies come to pass exactly as they were written, then we can have confidence that God is the original source of these predictions.

Only an intelligent being with knowledge of every event that will take place in the history of the world would possess the ability to tell us what will take place in the future. Since no human being has this capacity of omniscience, the origin of all these prophecies cannot be human.

Biblical prophecy and its record of accuracy

Not one prophecy of the Bible has ever failed to be fulfilled exactly as God said that they would. Only a transcendent being with an unlimited intelligence who lives outside of time could tell us what will happen hundreds or thousands of years before these events take place. The Bible has a perfect record of accuracy in the prophetic predictions that it has made.

It is for this reason that we should trust only the words of the Bible and not the words of men who do not speak for God. The Bible claims that “Holy men of God spoke,” as the Spirit of God gave them understanding. The test for whether or not God spoke the things that these men wrote is whether the words they said actually came to pass in the process of time.

2 Peter 1:19-21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

True prophecy that originates from God will always be confirmed by the events of history. No prophecy that is contained within the Bible has its origin in the mind or heart of a man. The words of these prophecies came from the eternal mind and unlimited knowledge of the Living God. He spoke to the hearts and minds of men who had set themselves apart for God, so that He could speak through them. These men recorded the words of God in the Bible for us, so that we would be able to test whether these words are the words of God. If any prophecy of the Bible had ever failed, we would not need to listen to the words of the Bible, for they would not be the words of God.

Those prognosticators today, who make predictions about the future, have only about a fifty-percent chance of success. In all the recorded history of the world, there has never been any person who has a prefect record of fulfillment for the predictions they have made, except Jesus of Nazareth.

SeeThe Predictions of Jesus.”

According to the Bible, those who claim to write predictions that God has given them are tested, as to their validity, by the results. If any prediction spoken does not occur specifically as that prophet has said, he is a false prophet; and no one should listen to him.

“… when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously…”[2]

The Bible has been proven factual, over and over again, as the only trustworthy representation of the words of God. This is due to its record of perfection in the area of prophecy.

Prophecy declares the plan of God

Jesus delivered the message that God will accept us into heaven—if we will come through the one perfect sacrifice which Jesus has made for our sins. The certainty that God will accept us, if we come through Jesus, is manifested by His raising Him from the dead, after He died for us on the Cross. In accomplishing these things, Jesus fulfilled every prophecy of the Old Testament, perfectly.

The covenant of the Old Testament, required that sins must be “atoned for,” by the death of the transgressor. A penalty must be exacted upon the person who has violated the moral laws of God.The penalty required by the Bible is death. The blood of an animal that was shed for the sins of those persons who brought their sacrifice to the priest for a sacrifice—did so by faith. They believed that if they came with a perfect sacrifice, God would transfer their guilt to the innocent; as the animal was put to death, their sins would be covered. These sacrifices were intended as a temporary solution that would last only until the Messiah would arrive and make His life the one perfect sacrifice for all sins forever. Once Jesus died, all sins were fully atoned for—there remained no need for the former sacrifices of the Old Testament to continue.

Hebrews 10:11-12 11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at Gods right hand. (NLT)

In doing this and by fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus has proven that only He is qualified to be our Messiah, the Savior of the world. This is the intention of prophecy and the purpose for this book: To demonstrated that Jesus is the only man qualified to stand in our place at the judgement for all sins—this is attested to by His fulfillment of all the Hebrew scriptures.

The Prophecies of the Bible

Jesus wrote that many people “search the scriptures, for in them they think they will find eternal life.” Then Jesus said in reality, the entirety of scripture testifies of Him.

John 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

In the Book of Revelation Chapter 19, John is so overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds that he hears in heaven concerning the last days, that he falls down on his knees and begins to worship before an angel. This heavenly being immediately commands John to stand up and give his worship only to God. Notice what the angel tells John concerning all Biblical prophecy:

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” 

The purpose of all prophecy found in the Bible is to reveal Jesus to the world and make known the fact that He is the promised Messiah.

365 Messianic Prophecies

God is concerned with the salvation of every person, and He earnestly desires that all people are saved. The Lord designed a singular and specific plan to save human kind; this plan was formulated by Him before the foundation of the world.

God revealed early in the history of man how He would accomplish this salvation: The “Seed of a woman” would destroy the works of the devil and bring redemption to all those who believe in God’s Messiah.

Prophecy 1: Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.

This first prophecy found in the Bible was given directly by God to Adam and Eve, immediately after their disobedience and loss of eternal life. This prophecy contains the following important components:

  1. Enmity would exist (a state of hostility) between satan and the woman.
  2. Enmity would exist between the Seed of the woman (The Messiah) and satan.
  3. The Messiah will deal a fatal blow (to the Head) of satan, destroying his work forever.
  4. Satan will attempt to stop the work of redemption by the Messiah, but  this attempt will only “bruise His heel” (it will not succeed).

We should pay very special attention to this first prophecy

God said that the “Seed” of the woman would destroy the works of the devil. A woman does not have Seed; she has the egg that requires seed in order to become a viable human being. By using the term “Seed,” God is predicting that the woman will give birth to a future Savior who will be the Messiah. He will be conceived without the aid of a human father; He will be born of a virgin.

Isaiah also predicted, more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, a confirmation of this first prophecy of Genesis 3:15—that a Virgin would conceive and bear a son, and His name would mean “God with us” (Immanuel).

Prophecy 164: Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 

From the first prophecy found in the Bible—at Genesis chapter three, and continuing through the book of Malachi, God systematically lays out the entire plan of salvation for us—by His prophetic word.

A person may naturally assume that Biblical prophecy is not really that important, until they begin to make a diligent and sincere study of the scriptures. Upon examination of these 365 Old Testament prophecies, we discover that they contain a single integrated message. The source of this message must be transcendent, for it contains information that could not be known, except by an infinite intelligence. The singular message of these 365 prophecies is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus—who claimed by His fulfillment of all God’s word, that He alone is worthy of the title, “Messiah.”

The significance of prophecy in their advanced predictions

How far in advance were these Old Testament prophecies written? The Bible speaks of these events as known to God “from eternity.” Jesus is described as “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” In the mind of God, the events of the Messiah’s birth, life, death, and resurrection were planned before the earth was created.

Isaiah’s prophecy of a virgin conceiving and giving birth to the Messiah is a confirmation of the first prophecy in the Bible, found in Genesis 3:15. Isaiah wrote this verse more than 700 years before the Messiah arrived on earth.

The Book of Isaiah contains 131 of the 365 prophecies from the Old Testament which Jesus fulfilled. The gap between the original prediction of these events and the actual time of their fulfillment is conservatively 600-700 years.

We know from history that Isaiah wrote these prophecies during the reign of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, who reigned at least 600 years before Christ was born. This is a matter of history that is indisputable.

Some critics claim that there are really three separate persons who wrote the Book of Isaiah.

This theory has been impeached; and today, no credible Biblical scholar believes that there were three Isaiah’s. The historical record clearly demonstrates that only one Isaiah, could have written all of the words of this book. This certainty is established by sources—outside of the Bible.

Secular writers, such as the Jewish historian Josephus, attest to the fact that a single Isaiah authored the entire book. A Hebrew manuscript of Isaiah, found in the caves near Qumran, bears witness to the seamless unity of the Book of Isaiah as being the work of just one man.[3]

If you are a Christian and believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, then the testimony of Jesus Himself, found in the New Testament, defines one Isaiah as the author of the book. In the gospel of John Chapter 12, verse 41, John records: “Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him” (The Messiah).

The term “these things” is plural and refers to the two previous occurrences of Old Testament prophecy concerning the Messiah found in John 12:38. Jesus quotes from Isaiah 53:1 the so-called “second Isaiah”; and John 12:40, where Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6:10 the so-called “first Isaiah.” Jesus only refers to one Isaiah in both of these verses of scripture that critics have adamantly stated were written by two different Isaiah’s. Based on Jesus’ own words, it is impossible that the entire Book of Isaiah was written by anyone other than one man. If there was a second or third Isaiah, Jesus would have spoken of them as being subsequent to the first. Since He did not, they were not.

It would be difficult to image how a prophet such as Isaiah could write such scathing prophecies against Judah, in chapters 40-66, and yet fade into obscurity. In many of the later writings of other prophets of the Old Testament, the prophecies that Isaiah made concerning Judah, in chapters 40-66, are also referred to in their own predictions. All of the later prophets refer to only one Isaiah.

Objection to Prophecy: “The predictions were written after they occurred.”

This objection is based primarily on a misunderstanding in the historical evidence for the Old Testament.

Alexander the Great was one of the world’s greatest and most prolific conquerors. Upon the completion of his conquest of the Babylonian empire, began a far-reaching campaign to make the Greek language the primary spoken and written language of the known world. As a result, the Hebrew language of the Jews fell into disuse. Between 285 and 246 B.C., Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned seventy Hebrew scholars to translate the Hebrew scriptures into Greek. Their completed translation known today as “LXX” contained the complete text of the Book of Daniel, as well as all the prophets who wrote the 365 prophecies, that are the subject of this book. For this reason, we know that the prophecies of Daniel, which described the most important prophecy of the Old Testament—the precise date for the arrival of the Messiah—were a part of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, almost 300 years before Jesus arrived. Today, upon comparison of the Septuagint with our modern translations of the Old Testament scriptures, we find that the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, and all the prophets who predicted the specific details of the Messiah, are virtually identical.

For this reason, the criticism that the prophecies of the Messiah are not valid because they were written after the fact—is fully impeached by the record of history.

Of the 131 prophecies found in the Book of Isaiah that vividly describe the Messiah, all of these predictions were penned at least 285 years and up to 700 years before Jesus was born and began to fulfill every single word of Isaiah’s prophetic description of the promised Messiah. This large body of prophecy found in the Book of Isaiah is directly applicable to the entire life of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the coming Messiah—from His birth, through His death, and resurrection from the dead.

The descriptions of the Messiah—written by David in Psalm 22, where he communicates a Messiah who will be pierced in His hands and feet by crucifixion, was written more than 1,000 years before Jesus was born. Dozens of other Old Testament prophecies found in this book were written from 1,000 to 3,000 years before Jesus arrived and fulfilled each one perfectly.

Irrational disqualification of the New Testament

Many people are of the opinion that the narrative of the New Testament is not a valid and reliable record of history. Certain Atheists and other critics of the Bible will often refuse to accept any testimony about Jesus or the early Christian church, when the source of these facts comes from the New Testament. Although the criteria for determining the reliability of Biblical texts falls well within the requirements that all other documents of antiquity require, and in many cases exceeds the evidence of the secular record, the narrative of the Bible is disqualified as being an unreliable account of true history, for the periods it describes.

Today, we know factually that the writers of the Old and New Testaments recorded specific details of the time period in which they lived, with stunning accuracy.

Several noted archeologists, scholars, and historians confirm that the record of the Bible in regards to accurate descriptions of the time period they describe, are unparalleled by any secular record. World-renowned archeologist, Dr. Nelson Glueck, wrote in his book, “Rivers in the Desert:”

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae in the vast mosaic of the Bible’s almost incredibly correct historical memory.”[4]

Each year, archeologists have confirmed the events described in the Bible by new discovery, after new discovery. J.O. Kinnaman, Ph.D., famous scholar, writes:

“Of the hundreds of thousands of artifacts found by the archeologists, not one has ever been discovered that contradicts or denies one word, phrase, clause, or sentence of the Bible, but always confirms and verifies the facts of the Biblical record.”[5]

In fact, the Bible is considered today, by the best and brightest of those who study the history of the world—an unparalleled authority on the events in which they describe. Professor Robert Wilson, Ph.D. Says: in his professional opinion, the integrity and accuracy of the Bible has passed every test of scrutiny.

After forty-five years of scholarly research in biblical textual studies and in language study, I have come now to the conviction that no man knows enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament. When there is sufficient documentary evidence to make an investigation, the statement of the Bible, in the original text, has stood the test.”[6]

Dr. William Ramsey began with the premise that the accounts given in the New Testament description, were inaccurate. The details to which Luke writes in his gospel and the Book of Acts were assumed as fabrications, because they were so specific and detailed. As Dr. Ramsey began his excavation of the ruins of Asia and Greece, he found that the descriptions made by Luke were precise and accurate. Every city, boundary, ancient marker, and discovery confirmed that Luke was writing his accounts from the vantage point of a scholarly historian. Convinced by the archeological record which confirmed that Luke truthfully recorded each specific place and event, Dr. Ramsey also became convinced that Luke’s description and testimony of Jesus of Nazareth must also be reliable and accurate. In his later years, Dr. Ramsey became a follower of Jesus and a devoted Biblical scholar.

If the record of the New Testament is found to be accurate archeologically, then it is certainly reasonable that the narrative regarding Jesus of Nazareth is also accurate. The writers of the New Testament were seeking to lay down a record of the extraordinary life of one man, who claimed to be the complete fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures. These men regarded the truthfulness and precise details of their accounts as the greatest of importance in establishing, for all future generations, the fact that Jesus was both a genuine person of antiquity as well as the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophets as the promised Messiah.

The entire basis for the Christian faith rests on the authenticity of the New Testament. The writers of the four gospels realized their enormous task and set out to testify truthfully what they had seen and heard concerning the man described as Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

Since it was by words that God brought the universe into being, it was also by His words that He would reveal Himself through the person of His Son. Paul testified to this truth in the opening statements of his letter to the Hebrew Christians.

Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates Gods own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. (NLT)

The record of the New Testament was written in close proximity to the actual events that took place. In fact, there is no other ancient document in the history of the world which was written so close to the actual events as the New Testament.

In 1955, Dr. William Albright, considered one of the world’s greatest Biblical archeologists, wrote concerning the dating of the early Christian scriptures. Dr. Albright stated that after Jesus was crucified in 32 A.D., all of the books of the New Testament were written within 50 years of His death and resurrection.

“We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after circa A.D. 80.” [7]

As new archeological evidence has been continually discovered since 1955, the dates for the recording of the New Testament have also moved closer to the occurrence of the actual events. Dr. Albright later amended his original determination of the writing of the New Testament to “probably sometime between circa A.D. 50 and 75.”[8]

We are certain today that Matthew was the actual source of the gospel which bears his name. According to Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death and resurrection were written by him while he was still alive, about 60 A.D., just 28 years after these events took place.[9] Dr. Thiede concluded that three papyrus fragments, discovered in Egypt by Charles B. Huleatt in 1901, contained twenty four lines from the gospel of Matthew Chapter 26:23 and 31.[10] See the chapter, “The Certainty of the Resurrection.”

These stunning archeological discoveries make it impossible that errors or embellishment occurred in the text of the New Testament by later writers. In fact, the early copies of manuscripts that we have in our possession today, bear no significant difference in any basic Christian doctrine, which describe Jesus’ death and resurrection—from the New Testament which exists today.

Dr. Albright confirms this truth, in his own writing, that the time that occurred between the actual events and their recording was “too slight to permit any appreciable corruption of the essential center and even of the specific wording of the sayings of Jesus.” [11]

Today we learn that many of the early statements which were formerly made in years past, regarding the dates for the New Testament—which claim they were written long after the events took place—are fabrications. In an article by Time magazine, written March 21, 1977, Scholar Dr. John Robinson determined that he would personally investigate these claims of later authorship. Dr. Robinson was stunned by his discovery that very little original research was conducted by those who had written their claims of later authorship—based solely on a “tyranny of unexamined assumptions” and “almost willful blindness.”[12]

Scholars today confirm that the stunning details of the Book of Acts were recorded by a historian of the highest quality. Dr. A. N. Sherwin-White writes:

“For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. …any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd.”[13]

The New Testament is written first-hand by eyewitnesses

The events recorded, concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, were made by those who had seen Him, heard the words which He spoke, and observed His death and resurrection. The purpose for their precise recording of these events was to confirm that Jesus had fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament.

This book records 131 Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, written by the prophet Isaiah. How is it possible that 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Isaiah could write in such vivid detail? How could Jesus, with perfect precision—fulfill all of Isaiah’s prophecies?

Isaiah could not write with perfect accuracy, and Jesus could not act with perfect precision, if they were not both being directed and moved to do so by God. The inspiration for these prophecies found in the Bible, came from the limitless and transcendent mind of God, by His Holy Spirit. As Jesus stated specifically, all prophecies are directed towards Him and are for the sole purpose—that all people might know Him and have the opportunity to be saved.

If you believe that the universe came into being by an unlimited, incomprehensible, intelligent being, then it is easy to imagine that He also has the ability to communicate who He is and preserve a revelation of His plan for mankind—over the entire course of human history. If God has the technology to create this vast and unimaginably complex, yet well-ordered and finely-tuned universe, He certainly has the ability to speak to us concerning things that are going to happen here on earth in the future. The purpose for God speaking prophetic events ahead of time is so that we might know for certain when they happen—that the words that are contained in the Bible are the words of God—and not mere men.

Prophecy is not the work of prediction, from God’s vantage point

In the eternal realm that is independent of time, God knows all things from the beginning of man’s existence, to his final redemption. The events that will happen on earth, as a part of linear time, have already occurred in the realm of eternity. Prophecy is not God predicting the future; He is simply reporting what has already taken place.

I received a letter from a man recently who that told me that “there was no such thing as prophecy.” His position on prophecy was that men had simply waited until certain events transpired and then they wrote about them afterwards. In stating this, he actually described the true concept of prophecy: God has already seen all the events of time and has recorded these events in advance, on the pages of the Bible, by the hands of men who are given fully to His service.

For the prophets who wrote the words of God—which were yet to be fulfilled, they were often not able to understand what God was describing. These great men of God longed to comprehend the things which the Lord had instructed them to write; but because these events were so far into the future, they were impossible to fully comprehend.

Daniel 12:8-9 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” 9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. (NIV)

For God, who sees all the events of time as a single moment, these occurrences have already taken place. The Lord is simply describing what He knows—has already happened.

Is time travel possible?

The Bible demonstrates that God has the ability to travel back and forth across linear time and pierce it at any point that He chooses. Before Jesus came to earth as the Messiah, we see Him at the burning bush before Moses, with Hagar in the desert, as Melchizedek “the priest of God most High,” and as “The Angel of the Lord,” in other places throughout the Old Testament.

Jesus gave us a hint of His eternity and ability to pierce linear time wherever He chooses, by His statement to the Pharisees.

John 8:56-58 56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!” (NLT)

Jesus tells the Pharisees that He was alive before Abraham, who lived 2,000 years before Jesus came to earth. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I Am.” This is translated from the Greek words ego eimi, the self existent one. John wrote in the first verse of his gospel that before anything else existed, Jesus—the Word of God—existed. He has always existed, and He is the One who has made all things and holds all things in the universe together.

Colossians 1:16-17 For by Jesus all things were created: everything in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and they were created for him. 17 He existed before all things, and He holds all things together. (RCR)

The mystery of the universe is that the “Word became human flesh” and came to live among us, to be one of us—so that He could die for all of us and make available, the opportunity for redemption.

When Moses asked the Lord “who should I say has sent me,” God told Moses to say: “I AM” has sent you.

Exodus 3:13-14 “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’ ” (NLT)

At the hearing of these words, the Jews must have been shocked, confused, and horrified—that Jesus would claim to be the eternal God who spoke to Moses, Abraham, and who made all things, was standing before them—in the form of a man. Later, when the High Priest demanded that Jesus identify Himself: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Living God?” Jesus said that He was, and He used the eternal name for God, “I AM.”

Mark 14:61-62 … Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (NIV)

What we have to determine is whether Jesus spoke truthfully. Is He the eternal God? Is He the Messiah, the Savior of the world? I believe that this book is a testimony to the fact that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that the proof of His claim to be God is observed by those who recorded what He said and did. Many of the writers of the New Testament saw the Romans put Jesus to death on the cross, and they saw Him alive three days later. They wrote in great detail, and described Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.

Jesus can travel through time, and pierce it at any point that He chooses, because He created time, space, and matter. The universe itself is set before us as the testimony of His brilliance, splendor, and magnificence.

Verification of prophetic claims

The fact that many critics of Bible prophecy fail to realize is that we can easily verify everything that the writers of these predictions wrote by checking history for a later fulfillment.

The Book of Isaiah contains over one-third of all the prophecies that are written about the coming Messiah. We know with certainty that Isaiah wrote these things close to 700 years before they took place. We know that the New Testament records the fulfillment of all these prophecies in stunning detail, giving attribution for their fulfillment to Jesus alone.

Verification of prophecy by earlier predictions

The prophets of the Old Testament not only predicted events that would happen in the distant future; they also predicted events that would take place in their immediate future. The only way that a person, who lived during the days of the Old Testament prophets, could know for certain if these men were true prophets of God was whether or not their earlier predictions came true.

If their earlier predictions failed, then it was certain that the later prophecies of the distant future, would also fail. The fact that the prophets of the Old Testament—remain in the text of the Bible, is significant of the fact that all of their earlier predictions came to pass, precisely as they had spoken them. Since their words were authenticated by earlier fulfillment of their prophetic word—it is certain that their later prophecies of the future Messiah, will also be trustworthy. We know that this is true today, as Jesus fulfilled all of their prophecies with great precision.

The test of a true prophet, given in the Book of Deuteronomy, is determined by the outcome of his predictions.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 21 But you may wonder, How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord? 22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared. (NLT)

In addition to predicting events that would happen hundreds or thousands of years into the future, these prophets of the Old Testament were predicting events that were to happen in their own lifetime. If their close predictions failed, they were labeled as false prophets; and they were quickly put to death. Because of this strict requirement for one hundred percent accuracy, we are certain that all the predictions that we have in our Old Testament Bible today are true. If any of the earlier prophecies that were made by these men had failed, they would have been stoned to death as a false prophet; and none of their later prophecies would have been included in the Bible.

Now that we have the benefit of history and thousands of years have passed, we can measure not only the prophecies that these men have written, which have come to pass during their own lifetime, but also those that have been fulfilled hundreds of years later. We can look back in history and see if what they said actually took place. We have the words of the Old Testament prophet and the fulfillment of these prophecies—authenticate in the New Testament. Their record of accuracy in every case, is one hundred percent. Not one word of God has ever failed in all of the Bible—up to the present day.

Why is prophecy important to you?

For some people, it is very hard to understand Bible prophecy and its relevance to their own life. “How can something written by men thousands of years ago have anything to do with my life today?”

The answer to this question is probably the most important of your life.

Inside every human heart, there is a deep and abiding need to know who we are and what our purpose is in this world.

By the pursuit of pleasures, pursuits, hobbies, travel, entertainments and self-gratification, we look in every corner of the world to find satisfaction and fulfillment. At the end of this long and often exhausting search, we discover that we are just as unfulfilled as when we first began our search.

If our life is given to various vices—after many years, the wear and tear upon our bodies and minds are evident by ill health and empty souls.

God has made each one of us with a very important purpose: to know Him, love Him, enjoy Him—as we bring glory and honor to His name by the way we live our life for Him. If we spend our time in pursuit of pleasing God, we will find that we will be happy, fulfilled, and lead rich and satisfying lives.

It is by knowing, understanding, and applying the promises of each of these prophecies to our life that we find the purpose for which we were born. These are the prophecies of God’s Messiah: the one He has sent into the world to put an end to our suffering and death, and make eternal life our present possession. These promises are available to anyone who believes what God has said and who comes to Him through the Messiah’s sacrifice for their sins.

The purpose of prophecy

The true purpose of all Bible prophecy is to reveal the identity of Jesus Christ. By predictive prophecy, God called certain men—over several thousand years, to record these events in advance of their fulfillment. The details of these predictive words, found in the Bible, reveal who and what the promised Savior of the world would be like, and how we could recognize Him once He arrived on the earth.

Now we come to the most important reason for all prophecy: to reveal Jesus to us personally as the promised Savior of the world. Why do we need a Savior in the first place, and what does this have to do with Bible prophecy?

One of the purposes for God writing the Bible is to reveal to us all what God already knows. We are all sinners. We have a fatal flaw within us that will not allow us to consistently do right, no matter how hard we try.

We are all people full of errors. Our words, actions, thoughts, and motives are often fractured, misguided, selfish, and destructive. We hurt ourselves and others by our selfish actions.

No one really has to tell us that something is seriously wrong with us; we already know. The problem is that we don’t know how to change; nor do we, many times—want to change.

To this end, God sent to us a Savior who would become one of us and then die in our place, taking the penalty for our sins. The purpose of these 365 Prophecies is to demonstrate that only one man has the right to be called Messiah, Savior, and Lord— this man is Jesus Christ.

The large body of evidence contained in this book is more than enough to convince any skeptic. The words of these prophecies and the way in which Jesus fulfilled each prophecy perfectly, is stunning and amazing.

It is my sincere hope that by reading this book and coming into an awareness of how God wrote these things hundreds and thousands of years before their occurrence, that you might come to the self-evident conclusion that only God, who knows all things, could be the true source of these predictions. That you might realize that there is only one person in the history of the world who has fulfilled all the prophecies of the Messiah—and this person is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

Upon these conclusions, it is my sincere hope that you might receive Jesus as your Messiah and Savior, and thereby gain what He came to make possible for you—Eternal Life!


NOTES:
[1] Deuteronomy 18
[2] Ibid.
[3] Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 11.5–6 Whiston & Maier 1999,
[4] Dr. Nelson Glueck, “Rivers in the Desert,” New York, Grove, 1960, page. 31
[5] J.O. Kinnaman, Ph.D
[6] Robert D. Wilson, “Speaker’s Source Book,” page 391.
[7] William F. Albright, “Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands,” Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1955.
[8] Ibid, William Albright.
[9] Thiede, Carsten Peter & D’Ancona, Matthew, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996
[10] Thiede, Carsten Peter & D’Ancona, Matthew, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996.
[11] Albright, William. From the Stone Age to Christianity, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1946. p. 297-298
[12] John Robinson, “Redating the New Testament”, 1976.
[13] A. N. Sherwin-White, Quoted by Rubel Shelley, “Prepare To Answer”, Grand Rapids, by Baker Book House, 1990