Fulfilled prophecies prove the supreme divinity of God and the absolute veracity and validity of the Bible. A knowledge of past fulfilled prophecies also strengthens our faith and belief in prophesied events that have not yet taken place.
God’s prophets (sometimes called “seers”) were granted insight into the future, by word or vision, through God’s revelation. Their mission was about preaching repentance and obedience as well as foretelling future events, because they defined good and evil and explained the outcomes.
When Eve believed Satan’s lie and she and Adam disobeyed their Creator, God took away the blessings of life in the Garden of Eden and their opportunity to partake of the tree representing eternal life at that time (Genesis 3:16-24).
In the judgment God decreed for Satan, He hinted at His plan for the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). He told the serpent “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed [Jesus Christ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).
Bruising the heel of the woman’s Seed was a metaphorical reference to Christ’s crucifixion and death. His sacrifice removed the penalties of sin and, at His second coming, He will remove the curses resulting from opposition to their Creator which began in the garden of Eden. These prophecies reveal the details of the two greatest world events for mankind -- the first coming of Jesus Christ and His second coming!
God also foretold a catastrophic flood would occur (Genesis 6:5-8, 17-18), destroying every human being except Noah and his family. He called Noah to build an ark and at the same time to be a “preacher of righteousness,” warning the people to repent (2 Peter 2:5). Jesus Christ, the prophets and the apostles all refer to Noah and the Flood as facts of history, and abundant geological evidence also testifies of a worldwide flood.
God prophesied enormous blessings for Abraham’s descendants: ‘.... I will bless you and make your name great; ...I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’” (Genesis 12:1-3). God told Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and he would “be a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:1-8).
The vital spiritual promise God gave to Abraham, almost 1,900 years before Christ’s birth, that “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,” ( Genesis 22:18; 26:4) prophesied the blessings to come through one descendant—the “Seed,” Jesus Christ—who would be the “Saviour of the world” (Galatians 3:16; 1 John 4:14).
God also told Abraham his descendants would be sojourners and later enslaved in a foreign land and then liberated (Genesis 15:13-14). This prophecy was fulfilled by Abraham’s descendants migrating to Egypt, later becoming enslaved there, and eventually being delivered by God under the leadership of Moses.
Through His prophets God revealed the kingdom of Israel would be conquered and its people deported if they ceased to obey Him (1 Kings 14:15-16).
After Solomon’s death the northern 10 tribes of Israel separated from Judah forming the kingdom of Israel and their king Jeroboam eventually led them into idolatry. God warned them of the consequences of their sinful behaviour for approximately 200 years, then the king of Assyria besieged Samaria, Israel’s capital city, and conquered it in 722 B.C. The Israelites were transported to Assyria and eventually scattered among other nations (2 Kings 17:5-7, 23).
The prophet Jeremiah also foretold Judah would be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and carried into captivity in Babylon for 70 years because of their sins, but then they would be freed to return to their homeland (Jeremiah 25:8-12, 29:10).
God inspired the prophet Daniel to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of four successive empires, followed by the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (Daniel 2:36-45), revealing a prophetic outline of the next 2,500 plus years down to the second coming of Jesus Christ!
God also disclosed by name, about 150 years beforehand, who would conquer Babylon, and set the Jewish captives free, enabling them to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, “. . . Who … says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid”’” (Isaiah 44:26-28; 45:1-6).
Isaiah records God foretelling the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple before they were even destroyed! He also foretold the freeing of the Jewish captives before they were taken into captivity and revealed the name of Cyrus long before he was even born!
Foretelling the future is a major proof of God’s unique and supreme power.
The Good News magazine