|Posted by Ian on May 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM|
We’ve all heard the stories of psychics and men predicting future events, and then a lot of their predictions just crumble to the ground and never happen. The reason I have written this, is because of December 21st, man’s prediction on how and when our world will end. Well, we are still here. Once a psychic or even a mere man is wrong in their predictions, biblical prophets end up being called liars and phonies because of these failures. What we have to ask, is what is a prophecy? Is it just a psychic prediction that can possibly be just a guess? Or is it a divine message given to the prophet from God? Let’s take a look at what the word prophecy means.
Prophecy – A prediction of the future to come, can be defined as the future told in advance by God through a prophet.
Isaiah 48:2-5 2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city
and claim to rely on the God of Israel—
the Lord Almighty is his name:
3 I foretold the former things long ago,
my mouth announced them and I made them known;
then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
your neck muscles were iron,
your forehead was bronze.
5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
before they happened I announced them to you
so that you could not say,
‘My images brought them about;
my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
One of the main questions that I have heard has been, “Isn’t ‘fulfilled prophecy’ just a guess, or luck, or coincidence?”
My answer to that question, is no.
True prophecy is NOT guesswork from the prophet themselves, as scripture has shown us time and time again, it is a message from God to a prophet to tell others about the events to come.
Peter himself wrote that these fulfilled prophecies are not the works of the prophets themselves, or even their own interpretation of something, but the origin of prophecy has never been with man.
As stated in the scripture reading this morning 2 Peter 1:19-21 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Another question that has been raised by many, asks if there are prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the Messiah.
There are Infact about four hundred and twenty-five prophecies about the Messiah. I will give you just a small sample of them.
God would come to Earth, born as a human male –
Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
John 1:1-15 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
The coming Messiah being born of a virgin Mother is another Prophecy that the Old Testament had listed.
Matthew 1:20-23 (This is after Joseph had received the news from Mary that she was pregnant, he was deciding to divorce Mary secretly because he knew that the child was not his, and he did not want it to be known publicly that he was divorcing her because he knew she could be stoned to death for being unfaithful)20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” (which means “God with us”).
His Birth Would Trigger a Massacre of Infant Boys
Matthew 2:16-18 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
Another prophecy fulfilled in the Old Testament was that the Messiah would perform miraculous healings
Such as Isaiah 35:5-6 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
In a number of instances, the New Testament authors wrote that “this was to fulfill prophecy” yet people seem to ignore that.
I have heard people say that these are self-fulfilling Prophecies, which are prophecies that are predictions that directly OR indirectly cause themselves to become true. Well, unless he was operating under the authority of God, then how could Jesus arrange to fulfill any of the Messianic Prophecies such as:
The Messiah Being Born in Bethlehem (John 7:42 Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?")
Be from Nazareth (Isaiah 9:1-2 says 1. Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.)
Come out of Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”)
Descended from Judah (Isaiah 37:31 31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
will take root below and bear fruit above.)
Descended from Jesse (Isaiah 11:10 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him,and his resting place will be glorious.)
Descended from David (Once again, I list John 7:42 Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?")
No bones broken (The two thieves, crucified with Jesus, had both legs broken, but Christ had no bones broken at his death. After seeing Christ and his glory, the rude soldiers had been softened and refrained from breaking his limbs, fulfilling the offering of the Lamb of God in the law of the Passover found in Numbers 9:12 12 They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.)
Betrayed by a friend (in Mark 14:66-72 Peter denied any knowledge of Jesus, also Judas had betrayed Jesus by getting him arrested and brought to the Chief Priests for an amount of money, the thing that is most devastating about this, was the infamous kiss on Jesus’ cheek.)
Betrayed for exactly 30 pieces of silver (The amount Judas betrayed Jesus for, by bringing him to the Chief Priest)
30 Pieces of Silver returned (Judas was filled with remorse and returned the silver which was deemed as blood money. This return was done by throwing it back into the temple)
30 Pieces used to buy the potter’s field (The silver that was given to Judas for delivering Jesus to the Chief Priest was used to purchase this field of clay that was used to bury poor Jews who died in Jerusalem. The field had become known as the “Field of Blood” because it was purchased with “Blood Money.”)
Born of a virgin (In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah addresses the "house of David," meaning the family and descendants of King David, and speaks of a virgin being pregnant with a child, and giving birth to the child. Isaiah says this in the context of it being a sign from God. He also says that the child would be referred to as "Immanuel," which means, "God with us.")
He would perform miracles, which was prophesized in Isaiah 29:18 (18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
and out of gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.)
And then finally, the most important of all, the explanation of the resurrection by Jesus featured in Matthew 16:21 (21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.)
My question, in closing, is for all of you. Will you believe the words of man’s feeble predictions of our future such as the day the world will come to an end which Matthew 24:36 says No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Will you believe the feeble words, or will you believe what has already been said through the writings of men, told by God, that continue to come true, even today, and our days to come?