THE EVIDENCE OF FULFILLED PROPHECY
by Wayne S. Walker
There are many forms of evidence serving to demonstrate the Bible as a divine revelation to man from God. Our last couple of articles discussed the unity of the Bible as a means of showing that it is not the word of men but the word of the Almighty God. With this article, we want to begin looking at the evidence of fulfilled prophecy. God said in Isaiah 46:9-10, "…I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’" As the Lord spoke to the apostate Israelites, He staked His claim to being the one true God, as opposed to the idols, on His ability to declare the end from the beginning, i.e., to predict events before they came to pass.
To introduce this subject, we must begin by noticing the meaning of prophecy. The Biblical definition of prophecy is basically a forth-telling or revelation from God. A prophet is one who speaks forth a revelation from God. This can be illustrated by Moses and Aaron. In Exodus 4:16, Aaron was to be Moses’s spokesman. This is the basis for God’s remarks in Exodus 7:1-2 where Moses is presented as God to Pharaoh, and since Aaron is Moses’s spokesman, Aaron is referred to as Moses’s prophet. Moses would speak the words in the place of God, and Aaron would be his mouthpiece to speak this revelation to Pharaoh. Prophecy does not always take the form of future predictions, but it has often taken this form, and it is this specific kind of prophecy which we shall study to serve as evidence for the Bible.
Next, we need to discuss the purpose of this kind of prophecy. Why did God cause people to speak revelations from Him regarding future events? The basic purpose was to provide evidence for the omniscience and omnipotence of God. In Isaiah 41:21-22 God calls upon the idol worshippers to present their case and show that their idols were true gods. To do this they were told, "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come." By their revelations of future events that came to pass, the true prophets were able to distinguish between the truth of God and the error of idolatry and to challenge the people to accept the word of the one true God (see Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
Thus, we can see the value of fulfilled prophecy. Peter said, "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 (2 Peter 1:19, KJV). In this context, Peter has been talking about his own eye-witness testimony of Jesus. What could be more sure than seeing first-hand evidence? While there is some disagreement about the translation of the King James, it would appear that Peter is saying that the "word of prophecy" is "more sure." When we can read of predictions made long before the events and then see through the eyes of history the fulfillment of the events exactly as they were prophesied, there can be no surer evidence for the inspiration of the scriptures. Our next article will look at the test of true prophecy. (—taken from With All Boldness; February, 1995; Vol. 5, No. 2; p. 18)