Bible Facts Newspaper Article (Ian C. Kurylyk)
“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:8-9).
The ability to foretell events with absolute certainty and perfect reliability is unique to God. Only a being who is omniscient (all-knowing) could claim this power. Isaiah challenges false gods to try to do this work of the one true God. “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: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you” (Isaiah 42:8-9).
Prophecy of future events come in three sorts in the Bible. The first kind is that which told of future events when first given but which have since been fulfilled. We are assured of the perfection of Bible prophecy when we consider the prophecies which have already come to pass. Many are in this category.
In the Book of Daniel the course of world dominion by successive “superpowers” from the ancient Gentile world was amazingly foretold. “As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass” (Daniel 2:29). From Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon (when the prophecy was given) there has come to pass Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires exactly as the prophecy indicated. Even the names of kings, and conquerors were given at times long before they were born, such as the prophecy of Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1 whose empire later succeeded Babylon.
Most significant of all Bible prophecy which has come to pass is the extensive amount of Scripture which foretold the coming of God’s Messiah. The Old Testament began to promise this coming Saviour immediately after sin entered the world. Genesis 3:15 speaks of Him as a woman’s seed, pointing to the virgin birth, as confirmed by the later prophecy of Isaiah. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). That prophecy is particularly interesting since it also tells the great truth of the Deity of the Messiah. Immanuel means “God with us”. Read Matthew 1:18-23.
His birthplace was foretold by Micah. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). These and many others have been fulfilled literally and perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ. See also Matthew 1:2, 2:5, 2:15, 2:17, and 2:23.
The Prophet Isaiah also foretold His sacrificial death. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaac 53:5). Peter’s preaching in Acts 2 pointed out that His resurrection from the dead was absolute proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
The implication of this is profound. It means that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Saviour of the world and the only one who has a rightful claim to your faith as Lord and Saviour. It also means the prophecies of His second coming are absolutely true in every respect. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (II Peter 1:19).