Why believe in the Bible? Here are a selection of topics which confirm the Bible’s Divine origin by examining its amazing prophecies.
Overview of Bible Prophecy
The Bible is unique. It is the only book which has foretold the future with such accuracy. No other religious text has such power or authority. Man cannot predict the future. Man has no control over world affairs, on the rising and falling of empires. The fact that the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy confirms its Divine origin and gives us all the confidence we need to have faith in the prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:9-10
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
The Bible is its own dictionary
Simon Peter says this about prophecy:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21
Many who have not studied the Bible, argue that prophecy is all down to interpretation and that you can put whatever spin you like to bring out a meaning to fit your preconceived ideas. This may be true of some expositors but the above verse outlines an important principle which we shall attempt to follow as we go through the prophecies of the Bible. The principle is simple – these prophecies are God’s. They are not here for our own interpretation but God interprets them Himself through His word. It doesn’t matter what a particular Vicar says, what a particular Reverand thinks or even what the Pope believes – what matters is what the Bible says because the Bible is its own dictionary and will interpret itself.
Consider these other passages which back up the reference in Peter:
“…there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets..” Daniel 2:28
“..Do not interpretations belong to God?..” Genesis 40:8
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The uniqueness of the Bible amongst religious texts.
The Bible is truly an amazing book. A book caused to be written by the Almighty Creator of the heavens and earth. A book which contains scripture which, we are told, is “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). A book which contains a wonderful message of hope, for those who would accept its message and live by its principles.
In terms of religious texts, the Bible is unique in one key area – that of prophecy. When studied and understood, these Bible prophecies really do form a irrefutable proof of it’s divine origin. Many parts of the Bible tell of events which, when they were given, were yet in the future – but which have now come to pass. When compared with the other major religious texts of our time, like the Quran, the Buddhist texts, the Sikh texts or the book of Mormon, to name but a few, we see that in regards to prophecy these other texts really do not contain any substantiated foretelling of future events, on the scale that the Bible does. It really stands out as a document which can not be cast aside as its prophecies prove its authenticity.
A characteristic of God
The foretelling of future events is a hallmark of the character of God. He tells us in Isaiah:
“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”Isaiah 46:9-10
Bible believers will understand the importance of such a claim. There is no other God but the one who has revealed His Divine self in the pages of the Bible. He is the sovereign power source of the universe and it is for His purpose that things exist as they do.
This truth is beautifully expressed in the scriptures. For example in Daniel 2:20-22 we read:
“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
Despite what man might think of his own importance and systems of rulership, the Bible teaches us that it is God who is in control. He sets up kings and rulers and powers as He requires to fulfill His purpose.
“…the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Daniel 4:32
The prophets of the Hebrew scriptures, known as the Old Testament, are packed full with the foretelling of future events.
The book of Daniel contains amazing prophecies, spanning thousands of years and affecting millions of human lives. Events which would be impossible for a mere human to predict, are clearly defined and outlined. For example the great vision that Nebuchadnezzar had which is recorded in Daniel chapter 2, recounts the four empires which would succeed and inherit rulership power from each other: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek and Roman. The prophecy accurately predicts the final downfall and dividing of the Roman Empire into some strong and some weak nations. A Prophecy given hundreds of years before it took place is surely amazing proof of Divine inspiration. The Prophecy continues to explain that after a period in this divided state, God’s Kingdom will eventually be set up on earth on top of the ruins of the Kingdom of men and it is this coming Kingdom we look for.
The other major and minor prophets of the Old Testament outline wonderful prophecies. Of particular interest is a time period they were inspired to call “the latter days” which, beyond any shadow of a doubt, we are living through right now. The latter days is the time when Gods people of Israel will be gathered to their land in unbelief (Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 38:16). This we have and are witnessing in our own lifetimes. Israel has now been a state for over 60 years! Within the time period of the latter days we are told the Kingdom of God will be set up with one who will reign in righteousness (Isaiah 2:2-5). This coming king is none other than The Lord Jesus Christ, who will return to save the Jews from a time of trouble such as never was (Deut 4:30, Daniel 12:1). He will come with his resurrected followers, the faithful, who have been granted the gift of eternal life at the judgment seat (Zech 14:1-5, Romans 6:23).
He will return during a great conflict between the people of Israel and the nations of Russia, Europe, North Africa and the Far East, as recorded the prophets Ezekiel 38, Joel 3, Zechariah 12-14 and Daniel 11 proclaim.
The aspects of prophecy which have been fulfilled in a demonstrable way give us confidence of these prophecies of the future coming of God’s kingdom, in our time of the latter days.
The Book of Revelation
At the start of the book of Revelation, chapter 1 verse 1, we are told that it is written for the true servants of The Lord Jesus Christ, that it is signified or encoded in symbol and that it would reveal events to shortly begin to unfold. It is an amazing Prophecy, particularly when considered in the light of the continuous historic fulfillment of the various time periods held within it. When considering the time frames revealed, the Bible student will realize that they are living in the time just before the return of Christ, called, “the sixth vial” as recorded in Revelation 16. We know we are living during this time because it begins with the drying up of the Turkish power (symbolized by the Euphrates Rev 16:12). This began to take place during the turn of the 19th century and really came to ahead when the British forces pushed the Ottomans out from Palestine during the first world war. The Euphratian power truly has evaporated from the vast territory it once boasted – a clear indicator that we are living in the sixth vial period.
During this time period, Revelation 16 tells us that the nations are eventually gathered to the great battle of God Almighty which will correspond with the coming of The Lord Jesus Christ – just as the prophets of the Old Testament proclaimed.
Christadelphians and Prophecy
Bible student and founder of the now called Christadelphian movement, John Thomas, had this to say about prophecy in his book Elpis Israel (page 323):
“In ages past, God has had among the nations a people of His own. These are wise in the wisdom of God, and venerate His word above all things. Though not His counselors, He has graciously condescended to inform them what He intends to do before it comes to pass. Hence, it is testified by the prophet that “the Lord God will surely do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). This revelation is made that His people’s faith may be confirmed and enlarged, and that in every generation they may know the times and seasons to which they stand related. Knowing the signs, they are enabled to discern the times; and while consternation and dismay cause men’s hearts to fail, they are courageous, and rejoice in perceiving the approach of the Kingdom of God.”
This quotation shows the basis of motivation of Christadelphian Bible students to understand and discern Bible prophecy. To seek to appreciate the mind and purpose of God Himself in what He has revealed to us in the Bible about events in our day and beyond through men who lived hundreds of years ago.
Through good Bible reading and analysis, Christadelphians have amazingly looked for events to take place on the world stage, before they have happened. For example the drying up of the Ottoman power in the East and then the restoration of the Jews back to their homeland of Israel, were events the community looked for and when they eventually took place, stimulated its members faith and excitement.
In 2 Peter 3 we read of the inspired apostle Peters words to the believers of his time. He is warning them of the soon overthrow of the Jewish age, which had been prophesied long ago by the prophets of Israel. We read in verse 17:
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”
Here is a clear example of enlightened believers being expected to be exhorted by events which would take place which they knew would happen before the event took place.
John Thomas goes on to comment about this in Elpis Israel:
“From these premises we may conclude that, as the Lord has also revealed what is to come to pass in these latter days, it is both our duty and privilege to make ourselves acquainted with it, that our faith may grow and be strengthened; our affections detached from the fleeting present, and set more firmly on things to come; that our minds may be fortified against error; and that we may be prepared to meet the Lord as those who have kept their garments, and shall not be put to shame. (Rev 16:15) It is our own fault if we are not “Light in the Lord.” He has plainly set before us what is happening in our day, and what is yet to occur. Hence, while the Priests of the State Church are drowsily exclaiming, while war and political murders abound, “Give peace in our time, O Lord!” — and while peace-societies are with infidel voices crying “Peace and safety”: they who take heed to the prophetic word “know before,” that the hour of God’s judgment is come, and that destruction is at the door.”
As John Thomas here hints at, being motivated by Bible prophecy is clearly expected of us. Why would our God reveal these things in the scriptures if it were not so. To be motivated by prophecy though, one must seek to understand it. Read it and be enlightened by it.
Where there is no vision.
So this is the reason for the Bible in the News project and the reason for any follower of the Bible to be interested in prophecy.
The reason the Bible student should continue to watch world events is because God is at work in the kingdoms of men. He has given us clues and markers which can encourage us as we await the return of His son from heaven. These clues can help to give us the incentives we need to continue to live lives which are in accordance with his Holy precepts. The wise man of the Proverbs was inspired to pen these words:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18
It is therefore essential we keep alive the vision of the coming Kingdom sharp in our minds eye. Knowing the state of the nations and watching as they slowly move into place helps us in this regard. Whether we are looking at the rise of Russia, the tensions in Syria, the discord in Egypt, the antagonism of Iran, the distancing of the UK from Europe or the continued despising of Gods people of Israel, we can be encouraged by the fact that God is at work in the world in which we live. He is in sovereign control and will bring about the Kingdom he promised of old to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David.