What’s the Big Deal About Prophecy?

Why is prophecy important?   It tells us truths about the future we are unable to know.  We are obsessed by the future.  We want to know what will happen and we worry.  When someone can foretell the future accurately, it gets our attention in a hurry.  As Dr. John Gershner has said, “The wheels of the future turn on so many if’s”

3 Forms Of Predicting The Future Other Than Guessing

  1.  Forecasting (by experts) – predictions of effects from causes – based on experience and understanding. The Bible encourages this as wise planning. Forecasting comes from learning and experience. Doctors tell us to eat right and exercise to enhance our lives, engineers tell us how to build planes, trains and automobiles, Economist can tell us what the stock market could do.  The problem is that experts can be wrong.  How many of you have had a doctor tell you something and it didn’t happen?  “You have three months to live.” Polls show that we have a lot of trust in them but doctors, engineers, and economists make mistakes.
  2. Divination (by psychics, witches, soothsayers). These are predictions based on supernatural information and not from God or learning. Information does come from supernatural sources, outside of us. Spirits will communicate through channeling, speaking to the dead.  The Bible teaches us this and forbids it.  Examples are Jean Dixon & Edgar Cacey
  3. Prophecy (by prophets) Predictions based on information received from God 100% correct 100% of the time(contained only within the Bible)
  • Prophecy tells us who truly SPEAKS for God.

“Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. “1 Thess. 5:20,21

Some say, “I’m not impressed with prophecy, we have lots of modern prophets today”  Do we? Psychics, witches and soothsayers are almost always wrong in predicting the future.  The National Enquirer and the National Examiner give about 40-70 prophecies by the leading psychics each year. They can’t even predict what will happen in the next year, let alone ten.  Each year they get them all wrong.

What about the most famous? Jean Dixon?  Didn’t she predict that John F. Kennedy would be elected and die in office (Parade 1950)? No, she predicted that the person that won the election would be killed but she picked the other candidate.  In the 50’s she got wrong all of the nominees for the three elections and all the presidential winners as well. She could have done better flipping a coin.  Many of her predictions are wrong WWIII did not happen in 1954,  the Vietnam war did not end in 1966, Fidel Castro would be out and leave Cuba in 1970. She also predicted that the Soviet’s would beat us to he moon.  I don’t recall them being there when we got there.  Edgar Casey said that California would fall into the Ocean in the early 1970’s.   Our modern prophets don’t do so well.

How Do we Know Messages are from God? 

 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.”  Deuteronomy 18:22

Human standards of success are different than God’s if  a baseball player hits 40% of the time he is considered a good batter, same with quarterbacks 6 out of 10 passes.  God’s standard of success is 100% accuracy, 100% of the time.

  • Fulfilled prophecies provide strong evidence for the existence of God due to the incredible odds of them occurring by chance.

Probability Comparison[i]

1 in 107                           Correct Prediction of 1 Lottery

1 in 1014                         Correct Prediction of 2 Consecutive Lotteries

1 in 10154                       Correct Prediction of 22 Consecutive Lotteries

     1 in 10157                       Just 48 of the 300 Prophecies of Christ fulfilled.

 The greatest number of prophecies regarding an individual are referring to Jesus Christ,  the promised messiah, the God man.  (333 prophecies about him)

This is important because it identifies us to him.  That we may know.   There have been many that claim to be Christ, in Jewish history there have been 25 such proclamations of so called Christ’s.  There have been many more in history. We have seen several in our lifetime such as Jim Jones, David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite. Most of these have had no points in their lives that fulfilled any prophecy, for the Jewish false Christ’s at least they were Jewish which is one,  but none had even five points of identification with the prophecies for Christ as set out in the Bible.

These prophecies of God serve as a lock that keeps other’s out.   Harry Houdini reached the pinnacle of his career as the worlds’ greatest magician of his time.  Others would say that he is the greatest magician of all times.  One time in Paris he was to get out of a cage locked by one of the most complex locks known at that time.  It had a five point combination and was so complex it couldn’t be figured out so it was thought.  Houdini with his great skill and intellect figured it out and could easily open it. While in Paris a local French magician wanting to cash in on Houdini’s popularity and advance his own career, put in the paper that he could do anything Houdini could and he get out of the cage the next night.  But this Frenchman had an accomplice, a friend of Houdini had told him how he deciphered the combination.  Houdini thought something smelled  fishy, so using his great skill once again changed the combination.   That night the local French magician got in the cage the lock was locked and he with ease and pride began to try to open the lock.  To his surprise it did not open on the first try, to his horror it did not open on the second try and amid the howls and hoots of the crown he begged Houdini to open the lock.  Houdini being the showman that he was had some fun first, and left him in there a little while, then he open the combination which he had changed to an alphabetical combination and he called out the letters – F R A U D “whala” Just like the other so called Messiah’s and Jesus warned that other so called Christ’s would come.

Fredrick Meldow has pointed only five single points of information can single a person out from among the other 6 billion.  Say for example your name is Lester B. Smith and you live on 4143 Madison Ave., Chicago Illinois, USA.

USA – differentiates that country from the all the 220 + other

Illinois – from the other 49

Chicago- from all the cities in the state

Madison Ave – from all the streets in Chicago

4143  will bring it to your door.

Christ had not 5 points to identify him, not 5×5, not 5 x 10, not 5x 50 but 333 points of identification, (prophecies) or 456 specific details!   

Nobody has been able to do this except Jesus Christ.  He couldn’t have arranged for His place of birth, His ancestry.  One ancient prophecy predicted the exact moment in history when the Messiah would be born, which He fulfilled.  He couldn’t have arranged for how He was put to death.  it was predicted hundreds of years before the Romans ever adopted crucifixion as a method of execution.  It describes crucifixion hundreds of years before it was even used.  There’s no way He could have done it on His own.  and He fulfilled these prophecies against every mathematical odd.

People have done computer studies and looked at the odds of any human being able to fulfill these prophecies and they show not just that it could be difficult, not just that it would be unlikely.  But it would be mathematically impossible for any human being in history to fulfill them.  Jesus Christ did.  and that’s one way his claim to be the Son of God is validated. I said this two weeks ago but I want to share it again and have some fun with it.   Peter Stoner professor emeritus of Westmont College figured the probability of Jesus fulfilling only eight prophecies.  It would be 10 to the 17th or 10 with 17 0’s behind it.  It would be like taking a silver dollar and marking it and then placing it somewhere in the state of Texas and then taking a whole bunch of silver dollars and covering the whole state two feet deep.

For 48 prophecies fulfilled you would have to use  electrons  which are small particles that orbit around an atom.  If you were to line them up to equal one inch it and counted them and if you counted four per second, 24 hours a day it would take you 19 million years to count all of them in one inch!!  If you were to take electrons and cover the earth not two feet thick, not twenty miles thick, not 20 million miles thick but 38 trillion miles thick and send out your blind man in a space ship stop and get out his microscope, and find the one you marked.  That would be the equivalent of fulfilling 48 prophecies!!  There are over 400!

    Want to try?  If I give you only four things to predict could you do it?  It would be like picking the president of the United States in 3000, if there is a United States then, with only four details; tell the town he will be born in but it is not currently on the map, it will be a small town that will arise later. Tell what his careers will include; tell the crime that he will be convicted of and how he will be executed by a method that is not yet invented.

 Other Common Questions About Biblical Prophecy  

  1. Do other holy books contain accurate prophecy like the Bible?

             No other holy book has the prophetic accuracy of the Bible.  Most holy books, including those of major world religions, are noticeably void of prophecy.  Since prophecy is a standard by which to “test everything” one would expect them not too.

     A few religions have and have failed miserably.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have prophesied the end of the world (Armageddon) in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1942, 1975, and 1980.

The Mormons in 2 Nephi 10:7 says, “After the Jews believe Jesus is the Messiah they will return to the land of Israel” In 1948 they returned to Israel still rejecting Christ.  Doctrines and Covenants Sect. 87 says that “the Southern States will call on other Nations and then war shall be poured out upon all nations” A civil war broke out with the southern states but not a war between all nations because of the southern states.  Doctrines and Covenants 124:22,23 he prophesied that would possess the house he built in Nauvoo for ever and ever, neither Joseph Smith or his seed after him possessed the house because after Smith’s death the house was destroyed and the Mormons fled to Utah.

  1. Does prophecy say the world will end? Yes

2 Pet 3:7 “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men”.

 3. Does prophecy reveal life after death? Yes about 1/3 of all prophecies deal with life after death.

4.  What is the most important prophecy?

Key Prophecies Greatly Affecting Every Person

 Heaven is real, wonderful, and eternal. (Matthew 13:44,45)

Matt 25:31-32  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

  • Hell is real, horrible and eternal. (Matthew 10:28, 18:8,9; Mark 9:43, Luke 16:23-31)

“They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matt. 13:42

  • Every Person will exist in heaven or hell eternally.

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matt 25:46

 Everyone who Knows and Follows Jesus will go to heaven. (John 10:14, 27,28)

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  I John 5:13

 I hope and pray that you have trusted Jesus for your Lord and Savior and have believed the prophetic words in the bible about our eternal destiny.  May I see you in heaven.

Darrell

Sources

[i] Does the Bible Predict the Future?, Dr. Ralph O. Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, 2009, pg. 9

Dr. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries, Messages:  Prophecies about the Messiah, Why I Believe the Bible.

 

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander, Jarrell & Taylor, TX
This entry was posted in Jesus Questions - Matthew and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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