THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE BIBLE REVEALED THROUGH PREDICTIVE PROPHECIES<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The Old Testament contains well over 2,000 predictive prophecies, which are very specific and detailed. One of the main reasons the Bible contains so many prophecies is so that in their fulfillment, the divine origin of the Scriptures may be established. Isaiah 46:9-11 records: "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done."
Human wisdom is unable to predict the future; this is something which can only be accomplished by the omniscience of God. Prophecy is not mere guessing or conjecture; rather, prophecy is the prediction of future events with absolute accuracy. To be wrong in any way or detail nullifies the value of the prophecy.
The standard for prophecy in the Bible is 100 percent accuracy. Deuteronomy 18:21-22 gives us the test of a prophet: "And if you 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 happen or come to pass, that is the thing which Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." If one could find any wrong prophecy in the Bible, one could demonstrate that the Bible is not the Word of God.|
The ability to predict the future is the unanswerable argument whether or not one is from God or merely a pretender. God's challenge is recorded in Isaiah 41:21-23:
"Present your case, says the Lord. Bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods."
Only in the Bible does one find predictive prophecy. This important verification is noticeably absent from all other major religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or in the writings of Confucius and Lao-tse. Other self-proclaimed prophets such as Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon have delivered prophecies of which almost all have failed. The few which could be deemed as true are for the most part nebulous, general, and capable of multiple meanings. No being outside of an omniscient God can predict the future. Finite man peers across a chasm of darkness through which he cannot even predict what a day may bring forth. Yet, God has predicted legions of events which would occur in the future, thus proving he is all-knowing, all-mighty God.
Such prophetic ability demonstrated in the Bible leaves us with no alternative but to believe that God himself is its author. Isaiah 45:21 declares, "Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me."
Religions such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism are laden with many false prophecies and errors which create serious doubt as to their credibility. But the Bible has never failed in any single aspect of predictive prophecy.
The Bible records many instances of specific, detailed prophecies which were given hundreds of years in advance of the fulfillment. One example is Isaiah predicting that a man named Cyrus would rebuild the temple (which was still standing in his day!) in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Jerusalem (Isa. 44:28). Cyrus, the Persian king, was born 150 years later. He released the Jews from their 70 years captivity in order that they might return to their homeland for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple.
The Bible also predicted the fall of great cities and civilizations. All such prophecies have occurred. The following chart lists just a few examples of such prophecies.
In many of these prophecies, the exact details of the destruction were predicted. More than 100 specific prophecies exist detailing the destruction of Babylon. Babylon was the greatest city of the ancient world. The historian Herodotus records that its walls were 200 feet tall and 87 feet thick. Three hundred-foot towers extended above the walls which enclosed an area of 196 square miles. The Bible not only predicted its destruction, but prognosticated that because of the wrath of God, it would become desolate and uninhabitable (Jer. 50:13). Today Babylon lies in a heap of ruins in the middle of the desert.
In addition to the many prophecies of the Gentile nations, the Bible has much to say about the Jewish people. Deuteronomy 28 foretells how they would be removed from their land if they were disobedient to God. God predicted that because of their disobedience, they would be scattered across the earth in unfamiliar lands (Lev. 26). The nation of Israel did indeed fall into idolatry and was removed from her homeland and later returned. They were removed a second time in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem as predicted by Jesus Christ (Luke 19:43,4; Matt. 24:2).
It was prophesied that the Jews would be scattered but would preserve their identity. For 1,900 years Jews wandered the earth being scattered and persecuted, yet Jesus predicted that the Jewish race would be intact when He comes again. So why does one never hear of Hittites, Philistines, Hivites, Moabites, Jebusites, or Ammonites? Consider the truth of the Scriptures: the Jewish people are still here today.
The Bible also predicted that though they would be scattered, they would one day return to their homeland (Ezek. 36; Amos 9). For years people said this would be impossible, yet in 1948 the Jews returned to their homeland from all parts of the earth.
Many other specific prophecies are recorded concerning historic events and the coming of the Messiah. These will be discussed later in reference to their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Space does not permit the listing of prophecy after prophecy which have been meticulously predicted and fulfilled. All of this points to the fact that the Bible is true. God has given us overwhelming evidence that the Bible is true so that we will heed its message. Logically, if what God said about the destruction of heathen nations because of wickedness and unbelief is true, it holds that the Bible is also truthful in what it teaches about sin, eternal life, and salvation. Just as God judged people in the past for rejecting Him, He will judge men for rejecting Him in the future.
In order that you might know the Bible is true, God has validated His word through predictive prophecy. In a world of many beliefs and many religious books, you can know that the Bible is of divine origination.
No other religious book in the world can authenticate itself like the Bible. The Bible is true because of its superhuman prophecies.      

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