PROPHECY is defined as: ‘A foretelling…a declaration of something to come. As God only knows future events with certainty, no being but God or some person informed by him [called a prophet] can utter a real prophecy. The prophecies recorded in Scripture, when fulfilled, afford most convincing evidence of the divine original of the Scriptures, as those who uttered the prophecies could not have foreknown the events predicted without supernatural instruction’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
In the last study — THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS, we learned that the entire Holy Bible testifies of Jesus Christ, and that according to the declaration of the angel in the scriptures, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Therefore, when Jesus warned about changing “the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:18-21), he could have been speaking of the entire Holy Bible, and not only the book of Revelation. There are many prophecies to be found in the entire volume of the scriptures—including both the “first testament” (Hebrews 9:15, 18) and the “new testament” (Hebrews 9:15).
‘More than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy. Approximately one-third of it has yet to be fulfilled. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1,800 references appear in the Old Testament, and seventeen Old Testament books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return—one out of every thirty verses. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ’s second coming’—Your Future, George Sweeting.
The website—https://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html lists 356 Old Testament prophecies about the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ which were all fulfilled. See also http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/m_prophecies.shtml.
GOD KNOWS ALL THINGS!
SCRIPTURE: ‘Appropriately, and by way of distinction, the books of the Old and New Testament; the Bible…bound in a single volume’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
God alone knows the future — The Holy Bible is the only book in the world containing true prophecy. Comparing the time when he saw the Lord Jesus glorified on the mount and heard “a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5), Peter wrote: “We [who believe the scriptures] 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: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Peter 1:19-21).
Amos declared: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God has given mankind one Holy Bible in the universal language of English. This Holy Bible contains all of his words and the prophecies that God has foreordained for men to know. Faithful believers—like those who were noble among the Thessalonians, receive the word of God, “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1Thessalonians 2:13). By reading, studying, and meditating on the word of God, we know that the expectation of the believer “shall not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18; 24:14), because we know that everything God reveals to us in his “sure word of prophecy” (2Peter 1:19) will come to pass!
Be not deceived by the supernatural — The scripture tells us that, “There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification [‘The act of making known, or of communicating ideas to another by signs or by words, by any thing that is understood, particularly by words.’]” (1Corinthians 14:10). God warns and commands his children: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1John 4:1). Should I ever hear a voice speaking words contrary to the scripture from a cloud, I would know that it was not from God!
Be not deceived by any religion — ‘There are well over 4,000 different religions in the world today… having a combined total of nearly 10 million adherents… nearly 75 percent of the population belongs to one of five religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. These five religions are considered to be the most influential in the world and are often referred to as the “world religions” due to their size and influence’ (The Holy Books of World Religions, by Stephanie Hertzenberg). The books of the four non-Christian religions—the Quran, Torah, the Veda’s, and the received texts of the Buddha contain no prophecy! Sadly therefore, the followers of these false religions do not know where they came from, for what purpose they are living in the world now, and what eternity holds for them. They are the blind being led by the blind (Matthew 15:14). They are children of darkness (1Thessalonians 5:5).
The Holy Bible also warns believers to avoid prognosticators (Isaiah 47:13), soothsayers (Daniel 2:27; Micah 5:12; Acts 16:16), astrologers (Isaiah 47:13), witches (Deuteronomy 18:10; 1Samuel 15:23; Galatians 5:20), diviners (Deuteronomy 18:10), enchantments (2Chronicles 33:6), familiar spirits and wizards (1Chronicles 10:13; Leviticus 19:31).
God’s prophecies are not predictions that may or may not come to pass. They are not like weather or stock market forecasts, which may be inaccurate. They are not based on astrology or speculation, the deceiving words of ‘spirit guides,’ or the pronouncements of those who falsely call themselves prophets, such as: Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, or Jean Dixon, or even men and women in churches who claim to be prophets.
Referring to the perfection [completion] of the word of God with the completion of the book of Revelation around 96AD, almost forty years earlier the apostle Paul prophesied: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail [‘To be extinct; to cease; to be entirely wanting; to be no longer produced’ (Noah Webster, 1828)]; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away [This is a reference to the supernatural knowledge that was given to the apostles before the word of God was perfected]. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part [Before The Holy Bible was perfected the Lord gave portions of prophecy to the apostles and prophets.] shall be done away” (1Corinthians 13:8-10).
Therefore, without the inspired prophecies in the word of God, it is not possible for any of God’s creatures—man, angel, or devil, to know what will happen in the future! Such truth is a great blessing if you will think about it! Just think how miserable your life would be if you knew in advance every time you would be hurt, break an arm, have a car accident, or any other terrible thing; and there was nothing that you could do to prevent any of them? So if you really believe God alone knows the events of the future, then the truth of the word of God will make you free from the deceiving lies of false prophets, false teachers, false preachers, and all kinds of devilish deceptions, apprehensions, and imaginations (John 8:31-32).
The prophecies of holy scripture are immutable — IMMUTABLE means: ‘Unchangeableness; the quality that renders change or alteration impossible; invariableness. Immutability is an attribute of God. Bible prophecies are the absolutely true and immutable declarations of Almighty God whose “understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5)! As a Bible believer it is a great comfort to understand how God has made our hope of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, “both sure and steadfast” by “two immutable things” (Hebrews 6:17-20). God has confirmed his counsel [his word] with an oath [a solemn declaration].
The eternal counsel of God — “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10; 45:21). Because “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Timothy 3:16-17), “that cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), and “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), the “LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:10-11; Proverbs 19:21; 21:30).
FOREKNOWLEDGE WITHOUT PREDESTINATION — The truth that our great God knows “all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18) does not interfere with man’s free-will choices whatsoever! Although God knows what every man will do, and how he will react to the calling of the gospel of Christ, God predestines no one to belief or unbelief! God gives all men the “power” to freely receive or reject the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13). Calvinism has a greatly mistaken view of the character of our great merciful God, and also about the doctrine of predestination. These things will be discussed in more detail in a future post we will call: CHOSEN.
THE FIRST AND THE LAST
The prophet Isaiah declared: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). The LORD JEHOVAH became Isaiah’s salvation when “the Word” [Jesus Christ] who “was God” (John 1:1), “was made flesh” (John 1:14). Declaring the same miraculous event, the apostle Paul wrote: “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1Timothy 3:16).
Both the LORD JEHOVAH and the Lord Jesus Christ declared themselves to be the first and the last! This is entirely in agreement with other scriptures. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30)… making himself “God” (John 10:33). Jesus “said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). Jesus Christ “thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:5-6).
JEHOVAH’S DECLARATION — Isaiah the prophet wrote: “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).
JESUS CHRIST’S DECLARATION — When the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the apostle John, he said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last… And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last (Revelation 1:10-11, 17). And in the last chapter the Lord Jesus again declared: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13).
God’s first prophecy warned of the curse of death — After God created everything to support and supply man with all his needs, we know that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:1-27) on the last day of creation; for another scripture says, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). And when he had finished the creation, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).
The first prophecy was a warning to Adam: “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed… And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:8, 16-17).
God’s last prophecy promises a blessing to all believers — The last prophecy in the scriptures is found in the last two verses of the Holy Bible where the Lord Jesus Christ proclaims the last prophecy of his coming for his church (1Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1Corinthians 15:51-53). The Lord Jesus said: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21). This is a wonderful prophecy for all the believers who are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
SIX FINAL KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD
Prophesied in the book of Daniel — History has already verified that Daniel’s prophecies about five of the six final world empires (Daniel 2) are accurate. The last kingdom of this world—the kingdom of the antichrist [“the man of sin…the son of perdition” (2Thessalonians 2:3)] is yet to come.
The prophecies in Daniel chapter two concern “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). God uses the wicked as a sword in his hand (Psalm 17:13-14). Many times God chooses to use heathen men to fulfill his purpose. For example, the Lord used Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Jeremiah 27:6); Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Exodus 9:16); and Judas Iscariot, king over the “bottomless pit” (John 6:70; Revelation 9:11; 11:7; 17:8).
Daniel also prophesied accurate details of the events that happened during the four hundred years between the last Old Testament book and the first New Testament book (Daniel 11:1-35). Daniel chapter eleven concludes with prophecy about the final world kingdom of antichrist (Daniel 11:36-45). Even though the Lord Jesus verified Daniel’s prophecy of “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14), which shall stand in the holy place of the rebuilt temple in the middle of the seven- year-long “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), some unbelieving detractors claim that the book of Daniel was written after the events occurred! Such a lie would fit well with the ridiculous fantasy that the destruction of the temple by Titus the son of a Roman governor in AD 70 fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the soon-to-come tribulation period called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
PROPHECIES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND COMING
Excellent source — We cannot afford the space to list prophecies here. For those who want more information, I suggest that you go to the article, ‘356 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ.’ For a list of 119 future prophecies that will certainly be fulfilled, see the article, ‘What will the Future Bring? A Prophetic Timeline of the Future,’ and ‘Last Days Prophecies’ on the same excellent website (https://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353 prophecies.html).
With God all things are possible — At his first coming, the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies. Forty eight of these are listed in the article: ‘PROOF GOD EXISTS: Indisputable Proof the Bible is True (www.makinglifecount.net).’ This article goes on to say, ‘Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies in the Bible. Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963) calculated the probability of one man fulfilling 48 prophecies to be one in 10 to the 157th power [That is one with 157 zeros after it: a very large number.]… This could not have happened by mere chance. Only a supernatural God could have inspired and fulfilled the prophecies in the Bible. The evidence is so compelling that it should convince you beyond a reasonable doubt. God left His fingerprints on these prophecies so that you could “figure out” that He is real and the Bible is true.’
In an article titled “Silver Dollars All Over Texas!” by Bill Perkins, he wrote: ‘There are over 300 prophecies in the Bible of Jesus’ first coming, all having come true. What would be the odds of just eight of these prophecies coming true?
(1) Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
(2) Messiah betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12-13)
(3) Messiah’s clothes would be gambled away. (Psalms 22:18)
(4) Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. (Psalms 22:16)
(5) Messiah’s bones would not be broken. (Psalms 34:20)
(6) Messiah would be born in the tribe of Judah. (Isaiah 37:31)
(7) Messiah would be called from Egypt. (Hosea 11:1)
(8) Messiah would be buried in a rich man’s grave. (Isaiah 53:9)
The odds of all eight coming true are virtually incomprehensible! Consider this illustration — Suppose we filled the entire State of Texas with 100 trillion silver dollars. That would make the entire state about two feet deep in coins. Then we mark only one coin. Next, we stir-up the state full of coins so they are thoroughly mixed and random. The marked coin could be anywhere in the state in the two-foot-deep coins. Finally, we blindfold a man and let him travel the entire state to choose one random coin. What would be the odds of him finding the marked coin in one try? He would have the same chance the prophets had for those eight prophecies being fulfilled. Which is virtually no chance.
But that was only eight of the over 300 prophecies! Figuring the odds of fulfilling all 300 Bible prophecies is ridiculously astronomical. Simply incalculable — except that the real author of these prophecies knew the future. The God who created the universe out of nothing was in total control and knows the past, present AND future.’
GAMBLERS WILL LOSE THEIR SOULS
From the Popular Mechanics website: https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a27259/ how-many-particles-are-in-the-entire-universe/, we learn that there are 3.28 times ten to the eightieth power [that is 3.28 with eighty zeros after it] particles [protons, electrons, and quarks] in the known universe. Therefore, the chance of choosing one particular particle out of all the particles in the entire universe is much greater—much more likely, than a man choosing one out of 100 trillion silver dollars! It would be inconceivable and absurd—opposed to manifest truth and inconsistent with reason or the plain dictates of common sense, for anyone to think that the prophecies of the Almighty God could have been chance events!
Our great God the LORD declared: “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9). In reference to the Powerball lottery, a Forbes article by Vanessa McGrady on 01-08-2016 says, ‘The probability of winning the big prize is 1 in 292,201,338.’ That number is about 3 times ten to the eighth power. The chance of a man winning the Powerball lottery therefore is ten times greater than finding one silver dollar among 100 trillion silver dollars.
Jesus declared: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). According to the scriptures, a man who rejects the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel through unbelief will certainly lose his soul and “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). There is absolutely no chance for you to “escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:33) if you remain an unbeliever!
READ THE WORD OF GOD FOR YOURSELF!
Where to begin — The gospel according to John has been the source of faith and salvation for a great number of people, including myself. All believers are saved “by grace…through faith” (Ephesians 2:8-9). John explained that he wrote his book to give the reader faith to believe and have life. Salvation is possible to the reader, because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). John wrote his book to give faith to the reader. John wrote: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31).
Also, in his first epistle, John wrote: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1John 5:13). God gives every true believer, who is “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8) the internal witness of his Spirit: “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1John 4:13): “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).
Believe and be saved! — Perhaps until this very time, Satan, “the god of this world,” has blinded your mind to “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God” (2Corinthians 4:3-4). If you are still breathing in “the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13), God promises you, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9); for the “gospel of Christ…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures… is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16-17; 1Corinthians 15:3-4).
The terrified keeper of the prison at Philippi said to Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:25-31).