Reasons to Believe

Spotlight on Fulfilled Prophecy

Visions and prophecy seem to hold an irresistible attraction for people. Hollywood productions, such as 2012 and The Nostradamus Effect, often use these topics as their main themes and plot points.

Unlike newspaper horoscopes and TV psychics, biblical prophets accurately predicted hundreds of specific events—sometimes in detail—many years, or even many centuries, before their occurrence. Not only were these biblical predictions comprehensive and far-reaching, they were largely independent of each other—making their precise fulfillment all the more astounding. I like to use them as evidence for the supernatural accuracy and authority of the Bible. Here are just a few examples:

  • Some time before 500 BC, Daniel predicted the date of Jesus’ public ministry. He further predicted that the Messiah would be killed and that his death would take place before Jerusalem was destroyed for a second time (Daniel 9:25–26).
  • Around 700 BC, Micah named a particular town, Bethlehem, as the Savior’s birthplace (Micah 5:2).
  • In the fifth century BC, Zechariah said the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave, specifically 30 pieces of silver (according to Jewish law) and that this money would be used to buy burial ground for poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12–13).
  • Both King David and Zechariah predicted the Messiah’s manner of execution roughly 400 years before crucifixion was invented. Furthermore, they said the Lord’s body would be pierced but his bones, unbroken (Psalm 22, 34:20; Zechariah 12:10).
  • Isaiah foretold Cyrus by name more than a century before his birth and of his triumph over Babylon, Egypt, and many other nations, plus the decision to allow the Jewish exiles to return home without ransom (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1, 13).
  • Both Jeremiah and Isaiah prophesied Babylon’s demise (Isaiah 13:17–22; Jeremiah 51: 26, 43).
  • Jeremiah claimed the then-fertile land of Edom (part of present-day Jordan) would one day become a barren wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15–20).
  • Some 2,600 years ago, Daniel had three visions that predicted in detail the rise and fall of the Persian-Median Empire and the Greek-Macedonian Empire and the rise of the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:31–45, 7:1–11:35).

Remember that the motive of God’s prophets has always been abundantly clear—calling people to repentance and to worship of God. So we must beware of so-called “prophets,” clairvoyants and others, who draw attention to themselves and their own powers. Deuteronomy 18:21–22 (among other passages of Scripture) present the ultimate test of a true prophet of God: 100% accuracy in each prediction, no margin of error.

Subjects: General Apologetics

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.

Resource: Check out the full-length article on our website. Search: Fulfilled Prophecy.