Writing to Timothy at the end of his life, Paul urged his young disciple to „Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.‟ (2 Timothy 3.3-4) That time has certainly come and today many people, including many professing Christians prefer to hear fables or made up stories rather than the truth for the precise reason Paul states in this passage. They want to hear teachers who will replace the truth of the Gospel with a message which says their immoral life style is OK with God and they don‟t need to change their way of life by repentance and faith in the Messiah Jesus.
At the end of his life Peter wrote „For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.‟ 2 Peter 1.16. Since the basic claim of the Bible is that God moved in historical events supremely through the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it follows that if you can show that these events did not happen you can remove any reason why we should pay attention to the moral demands of the Lord given in the Bible. If you can demolish this foundation then you can destroy Christianity.
Today there is a major offensive in the media to do just this. While there is great care taken not to say anything offensive to Muslims or to undermine the Koran in the media, there is a constant assault on the Bible and Christianity with apostate clergy and university professors being given air space to raise doubts about whether the Biblical events really happened and no opportunity given to genuine Christians to put the other side of the case. This is all part of the anti-Christ programme to prepare an unwary population to accept the final deception which will bring in the counterfeit Messiah prophesied for the last days of this age in 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13. Behind this is a revival of the spiritual power of Babylon (Revelation 17).
Despite all the assault upon it the message of the Bible remains the only one which can give people new life and hope. It is the rock which has remained and will remain until the end of this age and the return of the Messiah Jesus. Even today its prophecies are being fulfilled in current world events, showing that it is the authentic message of God to the human race. Some of the major prophecies being fulfilled today are as follows:
- There will be a restoration of Israel as a Jewish homeland. Ezekiel 36-7.
- There will be a great conflict in the Middle East and hostility towards Israel from all nations. Ezekiel 38-9, Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 16 and 19.
- There will be an increase in wars, famines and earthquakes leading to a time of great trouble on the earth. Matthew 24.6-7, 21-22.
- The earth will be full of violence and many people will be afraid of what is going to happen to the world. Luke 21.25-6, Genesis 6.11, Matthew 24.37.
- There will be many false cults bringing religious confusion and in the established world religions a movement towards a united world religion. Matthew 24.24, Revelation 17.
- There will be a trend towards world government. Revelation 13.
- There will be widespread pollution of the earth. Isaiah 24, Revelation 8.
- There will be a breakdown of moral values and decency. Matthew 24.12, 2 Timothy 3.1-9.
- There will be an increase in knowledge and world travel. Daniel 12.4.
- The message of the Gospel will reach all nations despite opposition and persecution. Matthew 24.9-14, 28.18-20.
In addition to this Jesus Himself fulfilled prophecies of the Bible at His first coming and will fulfil others at His second coming. Neither the Council of Nicea nor the Da Vinci Code have the slightest influence over these prophecies being written or fulfilled. They are a testimony to the supernatural origin of the Bible and the truth of the teaching that Jesus is the Messiah who is Immanuel, God with us. Here we list some of the major prophecies:
Prophecies of the first coming of Messiah.
„But as for you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.‟ Micah 5.1/2
„And when he (Herod) had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem, for thus it is written by the prophet.”‟ For whole quote see Matthew 2.1-6 and Luke 2.1-20.
„Therefore behold the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.‟ Isaiah 7.14
„Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was as follows: After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. … An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus (Yehoshua in Hebrew, meaning God is salvation) for He will save his people from their sins.”‟ For whole quote see Matthew 1.18-25
„For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.‟ Isaiah 9.6
„The Lord will come upon you (Mary) and the power of the Highest will overshadow you, therefore also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.‟ Luke 1.35.
„The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those who are bound.‟ Isaiah 61.1 Fulfilment:
„Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.‟ Matthew 9.35
„I will open my mouth in a parable.‟ Psalm 78.2
„All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; without a parable he did not speak to them.‟ Matthew 13.34
„I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth.‟ Isaiah 49.6
„My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.‟ Luke 2.31-2. See also Matthew 28.18-20 and Acts 13.47-8.
Messiah to enter Jerusalem on a donkey
„Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your king is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, a foal of a donkey.‟ Zechariah 9.9
„So they brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.‟ Matthew 21.1-11
The Messianic greeting to be given Messiah on this occasion:
„This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now I pray O Lord (Hebrew „Hoshienu‟); O Lord I pray send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.‟ Psalm 118.24-26
„Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: „Hosanna (Hebrew Hoshienu) to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!‟ Matthew 21.9
Despite this triumphal entry Messiah was entering Jerusalem to be rejected and sacrificed:
„The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. … Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.‟ Psalm 118.22, 27.
„Jesus began to show the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised the third day.‟ Matthew 16.21
„So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – that princely sum they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.‟ Zechariah 11.12-13
„Then one of the twelve called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and said, „What are you willing to give me if I deliver him to you?‟ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.‟ Matthew 26.14-5. See also Matthew 27.3-10.
Messiah to be forsaken by his disciples:
„Awake O sword against my shepherd, against the man who is my companion,‟ says the Lord of hosts. „Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.‟ Zechariah 13.7
„Then they all forsook him and fled.‟ Mark 14.50
Messiah to be dumb before his accusers:
„He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.‟ Isaiah 53.7
„And while he was being accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.‟ Matthew 27.12
Messiah to be smitten and spat upon:
„I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard; I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.‟ Isaiah 50.6
„Then they spat in his face and beat him and others struck him with the palms of their hands.‟ Matthew 26.67
„All those who see me ridicule me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let him rescue him; let him deliver him since he delights in him.”‟ Psalm 22.7-8
„Likewise the chief priests also mocking with the scribes and elders said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he is the King of Israel let him now come down from the cross and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he will have him.”‟ Matthew 27.41-3
Messiah to have his hands and feet pierced:
„They pierced my hands and feet.‟ Psalm 22.18.
„They shall look on me whom they have pierced.‟ Zechariah 12.10
„And when they had taken him to the place called Calvary, there they crucified him.‟ Luke 23.33
Messiah to be put to death with criminals:
„He was numbered with the transgressors.‟ Isaiah 53.12
„Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.‟ Matthew 27.38
Messiah to make intercession for his persecutors:
„He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.‟ Isaiah 53.12
„Then Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”‟ Luke 23.34
„He guards all his bones. Not one of them is broken.‟ Psalm 34.20. See also Exodus 12.46, Numbers 9.22
„But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead they did not break his legs. … For these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of his bones shall be broken.”‟ John 19.33, 36
„And they made his grave with the wicked, but with the rich at his death.‟ Isaiah 53.9
„When Joseph (of Arimathea – a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin who believed in Jesus) had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb and he departed.‟ Matthew 27.59-60
„For you will not leave my soul in Sheol (the place of the dead), nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption. You will show me the path of life.‟ Psalm 69.10-11 „For he was cut off from the land of the living. … When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days.‟ Isaiah 53.8, 10
”「為甚麼在死人中找活人呢？ 6 他不在這裏，已經復活了。” 路加福音 24.5-6
„Look to me and be saved all you ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other. I have sworn by myself; the word has gone out in righteousness and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow.‟ Isaiah 45.22-3
And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always even unto the end of the age.‟ Matthew 28.18- 20
Prophecies of the second coming of Messiah.
„At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time.‟ Daniel 12.1
„For then there will be great tribulation such as has never been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be.‟ Matthew 24.21
„And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.‟ Zechariah 12.3
„But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then know that its desolation is near. … Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.‟ Luke 21.20-24
All nations to be gathered for the final battle:
„Assemble and come all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause your mighty ones to come down there O Lord. Let the nations be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat‟ (Hebrew word means „The Lord judges‟). Joel 3.11-16
„For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to battle of that great day of God Almighty. … And they gathered them together in the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.‟ Revelation 16.14-16
„I was watching in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven!‟ Daniel 7.13
„Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.‟ Matthew 24.30
„And I will pour on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced and mourn for his only son and grieve for him as one grieves for a first born.‟ Zechariah 12.10
„Behold he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even they who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him.‟ Revelation 1.7
„Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as he fights in the day of battle. And his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east.‟ Zechariah 14.2-3
„“Men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet.‟ Acts 1.11-12
Messiah to come with the saints:
„Thus the Lord my God will come and all the saints with you.‟ Zechariah 14.5 New Testament parallel:
„Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints.‟ Jude 14. „Saints‟ in the Bible means all who truly believe in the Lord.
„In that day a man will cast away his idols … to go into the clefts of the rocks and into the crags of the rugged rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake the earth mightily.‟ Isaiah 2.20-21
„And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.”‟ Revelation 6.15-6
The Lord to establish righteousness and peace on the earth with Satan unable to deceive the nations any more:
„Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord‟s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2.2-4).‟
„Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years … so that he should deceive the nations no more … Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah and shall reign with him a thousand years.‟ Revelation 20.1-6 (extracts)
Israel to be saved and blessed of the Lord in the midst of the nations:
„In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless saying, “Blessed is Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands and Israel my inheritance.‟ Isaiah 19.24-25
„And so all Israel will be saved as it is written: „The deliverer will come out of Zion and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.‟ Romans 11.26-7.
Following the Millennial reign of Messiah on earth, God to create new heavens and a new earth:
„For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me,‟ says the Lord so shall your descendants and your name remain.‟ Isaiah 66.22
„Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. … And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God.”‟ Revelation 21.1-4 (extracts).
What is to be done?
In view of all this we urge you not to be taken in by fables, ancient or modern, but to trust in the living God revealed in Jesus the Messiah through the pages of the Bible and by the Holy Spirit. If you have not yet done so, ask God to come into your life through faith in Him:
„Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus the Messiah died in my place, shedding His blood to pay for my sins, and that He rose again from the dead to give me eternal life. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus‟ name, Amen.