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Prophecies fulfilled

Prophecy shows us that God has a plan for this world. By the foretelling of persons, places, and events - even hundreds of years before they are fulfilled - Scripture gives a strong testimony to its own inspiration.
- Josh McDowell

I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’ [...]
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass.
Isaiah 46:9-11

In His first coming, Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies from the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before His birth, about the coming Messiah. Statistically speaking this would be impossible....

 

In other words, something only God could do.

 

“THE KING’S SEAL

In the days before mass communications - when all long-distance messages were sent by hand - a king would place his seal on his message. This seal would be a sign to the recipient of the message that the message was authentic—it really came from the king and not from someone just posing as the king. Of course to make this system work, the seal needed to be unusual or unique, easily recognizable, and it had to be something only the king possessed.

 

God could use a similar system to authenticate his messages—specifically, He could use miracles. Miracles are unusual and unique, easily recognizable, and only God can do them. Even skeptics, by demanding a sign from God, are implicitly admitting that miracles would prove his existence.” 

- Excerpt From 'I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist'

 

The biblical prophecies were never meant to predict the future; they were meant to authenticate the Scriptures are God breathed; they are meant to authenticate God's book to humanity. In other words, the countless fulfilled prophecies are God's signature (seal) on His message to humanity.

But we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew. For if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7–8

Scattered throughout the pages and 'hiding in plain sight' are hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, most of them about Jesus - where He would be born, when His ministry would begin, when He would be crucified, that He would be crucified (a method of punishment that had yet to be invented at the time of said prophecy), that He would live after having been killed, and so on.

But - you have to actually know Jesus, to see Jesus on every page of the Old Testament.

"He is the unified picture that becomes visible when the pieces are all detected and put in their proper places. Everything was in plain sight, yet undetectable without hindsight." - M Heiser

 

Why the secrecy? Why litter 100s of prophecies throughout dozens of books, that forms a clear picture only when you know what (or Who) you are looking for? Why not just write a clear and easy to understand announcement that would make the Messiah impossible to miss for everyone?

For one, God isn't in the business of proving himself beyond a shadow of a doubt to everyone, only those who want to see, will be unable to miss Him.

 

This is one of the main reasons most people, including learned Torah (old testament) scholars of Jesus' time, missed their own Messiah! Not for lack of evidence, but because they didn't want to be freed from slavery to sin, but from slavery (oppression) by the Romans! 

 

(Not much has changed, as most people today still don't want to be delivered from their sinful nature, only to be assisted in their quest for spiritual liberation and evolution...)

 

However, the main reason the prophecies are meant for hindsight and not foresight, is that Satan reads the Scriptures too. In fact, Satan would probably make a better theologian than most any of us. The more Satan had understood of God's overall plan of redemption, the more he would have tried to thwart it - more than he already did, that is. See below just a few exampled of how Satan tried to prevent the birth of the coming Messiah based on the prophecies God had given in Scripture;

These are the Scriptures that testify about me.
Jesus in John 5:39

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus

1. Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem.
2. And yet, Messiah would 'come out of Egypt'
3. Messiah is to be preceded by a m
essenger.
4. Messiah is to be sold for 30 pieces of silver.
5. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion, by having His hands and feet pierced.
6. Messiah is to be executed without having a bone broken (whereas most crucifixions were followed by the breaking of bones)
7. Messiah is to be buried with the rich when dead.
8. Messiah to have come before the temple is destroyed (A.D.70)

9. Messiah is a descendent of king David.
10. Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah.
11. Israel would be scattered (dispersed) from their land because of rejecting Him
12. (God also promised to bring them back, this prophecy was fulfilled in 1948)


(To read in-depth about these and other fulfilled prophecies, please see the resources provided under 'further contemplation')

These are just 12 out of the 300+ fulfilled prophecies.
Did you know that one man fulfilling even 8 prophecies would be a statistical miracle, and has never happened before or since Jesus? Here's an illustration of the likelihood of one person fulfilling 8 prophecies (Jesus fulfilled 100s) :


"…we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollas and stir the whole mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man and tell him that he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one?”

The science of probability attempts to determine the chance that a given event will occur. A professor at Westmont College, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university students. The students carefully weighed all the factors, discussed each prophecy at length, and examined the various circumstances which might indicate that men had conspired together to fulfill a particular prophecy. They made their estimates conservative enough so that there was finally unanimous agreement even among the most skeptical students. However the professor then took their estimates, and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more than fair.

 

Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented. For example, concerning Micah 5:2, where it states the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the professor and his students determined the average population of BETHLEHEM from the time of Micah to the present; then they divided it by the average population of the earth during the same time period. They concluded that the chance of one man being born in Bethlehem was one in 300,000.

After examining only eight different prophecies, they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17.

 

To illustrate how large the number 10^17 is (a figure with 17 zeros), the professor gave this illustration: If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They’ll cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the one silver dollar that has the special mark on it. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time.

From these figures, the professor concludes the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of the prophecies. 
 

Another way of saying this is that any person who minimizes or ignores the significance of the biblical identifying signs concerning the Messiah would be foolish.

But, of course, there are many more than eight prophecies. In another calculation, the professor used 48 prophecies (even though he could have used Edersheim’s 456), and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is the incredible number 10^157. How large is 10^157? 10^157 contains 157 zeros!

The professor gives an illustration of this number using electrons. Electrons are very small objects. They’re smaller than atoms. It would take 2.5 TIMES 10^15 of them, laid side by side, to make one inch. Even if we counted 250 of these electrons each minute, and counted day and night, it would still take 19 million years just to count a line of electrons one inch long. With this introduction, let’s go back to our chance of one in 10^157. Let’s suppose that we’re taking this number of electrons, marking one, and thoroughly stirring it into the whole mass, then blindfolding a man and letting him try to find the right one. What chance has he of finding the right one? What kind of a pile will this number of electrons make? They make an inconceivably large volume.

As the professor concludes, “Any man who rejects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact, proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world.”

"Clues are scattered throughout the Old Testament in dozens of places. Never is it all revealed in one place. The messianic profile is only clear in hindsight—and even then only to someone who already knows what to look for and expect."
- Michael Heiser

The prophecies of the Bible are a truly marvelous thing and can be studied for a whole lifetime and they would still not cease to amaze. Really ponder the magnitude of fulfilled prophecies, and start to see the glory of God in the Scriptures!

Here we'll highlight just three awe-inspiring prophecies;

 

Jesus' Crucifixion in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22

 

'Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 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. '

(ISAIAH 53:1-5)

 

'Dogs surround me,

a pack of villains encircles me;

they pierce my hands and my feet.'

(PSALM 22:16)

 

Here we clearly see a prophecy of the coming crucifixion - but did you know crucifixion wasn't invented yet at the time of these prophecies? The book of Isaiah was written approximately 740 BC, Psalm 22 was written 1000-600 BC. Crucifixion was invented by the Persians around 520 BC....

 

The Gospel in Genesis

God tucked away His plan for redemption (God Himself rescuing us)  in the first few chapters of the Bible; and then spends the next 65 books making true on His promise. The Holy Spirit revealed that God Himself would come to us, and bring us rest from our suffering and death, hundreds of years, if not over a thousand, before the birth of the Messiah. It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. 'It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross'.

https://www.khouse.org/articles/1996/44/

 

 

Jesus' ministry & death prophesied to the day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMHt0qjS6OI

Even after the resurrection the disciples had to have their minds supernaturally opened to see a suffering Messiah. The risen Jesus says that explicitly in Luke 24:

44 Jesus said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

The point is straightforward; only someone who knew the outcome of the puzzle, who knew how all the elements of the Messianic mosaic would come together, could make sense of the pieces. Jesus had to enable the disciples to understand what the Old Testament was simultaneously hiding and revealing.

- Michael Heiser

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