Prophecy and the Inspiration of Scripture

Prophecy and the Inspiration of Scripture

HOW BIBLE PROPHECY PROVES THE BIBLE IS DIVINELY INSPIRED

Many believe the Bible is a good book; others call it an important historical work which embodies positive messages and practical counsel. Some go so far as to call it unique—a few refer to it as absolutely true and accurate. However, the Bible is more than just true and accurate. I have several history and biographical study books in my library that are true and accurate. What gives the Bible its singular distinction is the fact that it is divinely inspired. It is God’s Word.

Historical records and archaeological finds verify the Biblical record is true, the study of ancient manuscripts (manuscript attestation) show the Bible to be accurate and unique, but perhaps more than any other single field of study, it is the study of Bible Prophecy which demonstrates that the Bible is divinely inspired. No other book is so filled with prophecy—and no other writing comes close to the Bible’s prophetic accuracy rate – 100%.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BIBLE PROPHECY

How many prophecies are in the Bible – How do we know?

Many are aware that there are prophecies in the Bible, but few realize that more than 27% of the 31,124 verses in the Bible are prophetic. The J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy notes that there are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. These encompass 8,352 verses. More than 90% of the prophecies in the Bible should have been fulfilled by this time in history—and they have. No Bible prophecy has been shown to be in error. The accuracy rate for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is 100%.

HOW ARE BIBLE PROPHECIES COUNTED?

  1. General: Some record prophecies in a broad or general way – this is appropriate but does reduce the number of prophecies by about 50%. The Bible records that Jesus was a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. A general way to view the fulfillment of this prophecy is to acknowledge that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham—hence, one prophecy was fulfilled.
  2. Specific: Most Bible scholars record prophecies in a more precise way—counting each part of the fulfillment of a general prophecy as an independent prophecy fulfillment. For example, the Bible notes that Jesus was a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Therefore, this represents the fulfillment of four prophecies (not one)—Jesus was a descendant of Abraham (1), and Isaac (2), and Jacob (3) and David (4).

THE PRECISION OF BIBLE PROPHECY

Most psychics today speak in very general terms and offer what I call ‘Fortune cookie-type counsel.’ It is important to note that Bible prophecies are specific and measurable. And though many have tried, no one has been able to prove a Bible prophecy to be in error. There are approximately 1000 general prophecies in the Bible; about 900 have come to pass, 895 have been verified to be true. Five are unverifiable at this time, but as they are unverifiable, they cannot be used to prove the prophecies are false.

Jesus fulfilled more than 120 specific prophecies. Scholars note the probability of Jesus fulfilling just eight prophecies picked at random is approximately 1 in 1017. These odds approximate the likelihood of blindly picking the one marked silver dollar mixed in with coins two feet deep in an area the size of Texas. Scholars have noted that the probability of Jesus fulfilling just 48 prophecies approximates the probability of randomly selecting the one marked atom in all of the observable universe.

It is not difficult to illustrate the precision of Bible prophecy. Ezekiel 4 provides one example. The prophet Ezekiel wrote at a time in history when his nation, Israel, had fallen to invaders. Many were forced to serve as slaves in Babylon. Ezekiel chapter 4 notes how long it would be before Israel would again be a sovereign and independent nation. Let’s take a look at this prophecy.

Ezekiel chapter 4 records that the prophet was bound on his left and right sides for a certain number of days. The number of days (430) prophetically point to the number of years it would take before Israel would be restored as a nation (Ezek. 4:4-6). Jeremiah prophesied that the period of captivity would last exactly 70 years. Historians note that Babylon captured Israel (and took inhabitants away as slaves) in the spring of 606 B.C. and that exiles returned to Israel precisely 70 years later (as foretold) in the spring of 536 B.C.

In fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, exiles returned to Jerusalem after 70 years (536 B.C.). However, that still left 360 years of judgment to be served  (430 – 70 years = 360 years) before Israel would be an independent nation again. One might ask: What happened 360 years after Israel returned from exile? Did Israel become an independent nation at that time (176 B.C.)? The answer is no. In fact, when Jesus ministered on the earth, Israel still had not re-established as a nation. At the turn of the 20th century, Israel still had not become an independent nation, and this is why.

Leviticus 26:18 indicates that in the face of stubborn rebellion, the Lord “will punish you seven times more for your sins.” Many Hebrews returned to Israel, but most quickly fell away from true faith. Therefore, the 360 years noted were to be multiplied by seven, equaling a total of 2520 biblical years  [360 day years]. To convert the 2,520 prophetic years into solar [365.25 days] years, one must multiply 2,520 by the 360 days in the prophetic/biblical year (907,200 days). The next step is to divide 907,200 days by 365.25 (the length of a solar year). The answer is 2,483 calendar years, 9 months, 21 days.

Therefore, Ezekiel’s prophecy indicates that the end of Israel’s displacement/judgment would occur 2,483 calendar years, 9 months, 21 days after the Babylonian exile (which took place on July 23, 537 B.C.). When one adds 2,483 calendar years, 9 months, 21 days to July 23, 537 BC (the year in which the Babylonian captivity ended), they arrive at May 14, 1948 (the precise day Israel regained their independence under UN Charter).  Bible prophecy is accurate and precise.

Similarly, the 69-week prophecy in Daniel 9:25-27 presents a prophetic clock—a countdown of 173,880 days from the day a Persian King makes a specific declaration until the Messiah is presented in Jerusalem (the Triumphal Entry) and shortly after that, “cut off” (crucified). The precision of Bible prophecy is astounding. The accuracy, volume, and scope of Bible prophecy support the Christian teaching that the Bible is divinely inspired.

The study of Bible prophecy can embolden faith, facilitate confidence in the Word, and position one to be a powerful witness. We invite you to learn more about Bible Prophecy by listening to the teaching videos (see below) on this subject:

  • Bible Prophecy Part 1: This video teaching provides a general overview of the wonder and structure of Bible Prophecy.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 2: This video teaching profiles the precision of Bible Prophecy, and gives special consideration to an amazing set of prophecies found in Ezekiel 4.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 3: This video teaching profiles the prophecies that have been fulfilled in the last 70 years, and notes what the recent concentration of fulfilled prophecies could indicate.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 4: This video teaching profiles the Rapture and provides Scriptural support for the view that a Rapture will take place before the rise of the Antichrist and Tribulation period.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 5: This video teaching profiles the Antichrist and notes his nature, his goals, and the characteristics that will define his reign.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 6: This video teaching profiles the Millennium and the Millennial Reign of Christ. The Millennium will follow the seven-year Tribulation period. During this time, Christ will reign on earth, and the world will return to Eden-like conditions. The Millennium is referenced more than a thousand times in Scripture—this teaching presents an overview of the Who, What, Where, When and Why of this important coming event.
  • Bible Prophecy Part 7: This video teaching profiles what is likely to be among the next prophecies to be fulfilled in the prophetic timeline.

 

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