Moody Adams, from book Proof Imagine trying to write down the exact scores of a thousand ball games before they were played. Or try and think how difficult it would be to write the names of all the students that would be in your class and what grades they would make in their subjects before the school year even began. Difficult? Yes, it would be humanly impossible.
But God named people before they were born and predicted events hundreds of years before they came to pass. This is called prophecy; predicting things before they happen. Prophecy is the signature of God.
The way we know the Bible is the word of God, is that over twenty percent of everything in it contains predictions of the future. Dr. W. A. Criswell has counted three thousands of these prophecies that have been fulfilled.
God said the ability to foretell the future is proof of divinity: Show the things that are to come hereafter that we may know that ye are gods Isaiah 41:23. The fact that the Bible foretells the future is proof it is God’s word. The following are only a few of the thousands of predictions of the future the Bible has made.
In 553 BC the Bible predicted the future of the Greek empire. Daniel 8:20 said Greece, symbolized by a goat (Daniel 8:21), would crush the army of the Medo-Persia empire, symbolized by a two-horned ram (Daniel 8:20): He smote the ram, and brake his two horns (Daniel 8:6, 7). The prophecy was fulfilled 220 years after it was written by Daniel, in the battles of Granicus (334 BC), Issus (333BC) and Guagamela (331 BC) beside a river.
The Bible said the Greek victory would come by a river: He came to the ram which had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power (Daniel 8:6). Alexander the Great hit Medo-Persia with all his power at the Issus River (333 BC).
The prophecy tells us Greece would go on to become great: The he-goat waxed very great (Daniel 8:8).
It was foretold that in the hour of her strength Greece would be devastated: When he was strong, the great horn was broken (Daniel 8:22). At the age of 32, when Alexander the Great was at the pinnacle of power, he died and Greece’s power ended.
Scripture predicted Alexander’s kingdom would not be given to his children: His kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided to the four winds of heaven, and not to his posterity (Daniel 11:3, 4).
The prophet Daniel said Greece would become four separate, weak kingdoms: Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power (Daniel 8:22). Alexander’s empire was divided into four kingdoms: Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt.
The Bible predicted that the glorious, mighty kingdom of Egypt would be devastated and permanently diminished. And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations (Ezekiel 29:14, 15).
The land of conquering Pharaohs who spread their kingdom to the Sudan, the North African coast, and the land of Canaan, declined as the prophecy said. A series of conquering invaders, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, Romans, the Arabs and the Turks, brought the mighty nation down. Since then they remain a nation, but one that is diminished and no longer the ruler of other lands.
The Bible prophesied just how the city of Tyre would be destroyed: For thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus . . . And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. And I will make you like the top of a rock: thou shall be a place to spread nets upon; thou shall be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, says the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 26:7, 12, 14). Alexander the Great conquered Tyre. He tore down her walls and threw the stones, timbers and dust into the sea. Like the top of a rock, there was nothing left.
The Bible predicted the destruction of Babylon, the magnificent city of ancient history: And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:19). The city seemed impregnable with fourteen miles of two-hundred-foot high walls around her. But she fell as God said. Furthermore, those mighty walls were removed as the Bible said: Thus says the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken . . . it shall be desolate forever (Jeremiah 51:58, 62). Major Keppel searched for the remains of Babylon’s walls. He says, in the narrative of his travels, “We totally failed to discover any trace of the city walls.”
In 30 AD, Jesus said Jerusalem and its temple would be destroyed Matthew 24:1,2 and Luke 21:24. Josephus, the historian who traveled with the conquering Roman army, said the temple was destroyed on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, 70 AD.
While rockets fly from Gaza and tanks roll from Israel, the world hardly notices the most significant thing about the war. What is happening in the Middle East is an unmistakable fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
The Bible said Jerusalem would cause her neighbors to tremble, as the terrified Palestinians are doing: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2).
Prophecy said Jerusalem would be a burden to all people:” And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD” (Zechariah 12:3).
The Bible said that prior to Christ’s return to reign on earth there would be a solidification of world opinion against Jerusalem: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle” (Zechariah 14:2). Many think Iran is backing Gaza’s attacks, knowing they cannot defeat Israel, but using the war to turn public opinion against the Jews. The world-wide protests against Israel indicate this is working.
As the enemies of Israel increase, Jesus said this would be a sign of His soon return: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. … And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:1, 28).
Prophecy is the signature of God, no one can forge it.