(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).
It is written:
Isaiah 41:21-24-21 “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. 22 “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. 23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together. 24 Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.
Isaiah 42:9-Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Isaiah 44:6-7-6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. 7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.
In these passages of Scripture, God is calling upon the pagan gods and goddesses to provide proof that they are truly Deity. There is a simple test which He proposes: if these gods are truly Divine, then let them show detailed information of the future which may be documented and examined. The pagan gods and goddesses fail the test, of course; but the one true God doesn’t!
You see, one of the evidences that the Bible is the Word of God comes from prophecy and fulfillment. When studying with several of my pagan friends, I have asked them for one shred of proof from this field for their gods and goddesses. After providing a detailed example of prophecy from Daniel 7 to a couple of friends who worship the gods of Egypt and the Norse gods, I asked them if their gods could provide similar evidence. They were very emphatic that their gods couldn’t. I thanked them for their honesty, and then pointed out, “My God CAN provide evidence like this, which is one reason that I know that the Bible is truly His Word.”
Yet what exactly is prophecy?
And how are the Bible Prophets different from the pagan prophets?
Kyle Butt provides some obvious guidelines for true prophecy:
“First, though, let us remind ourselves of several principles that govern the validity of genuine prophecy. (1) True prophecies are stated emphatically; they are not couched in the jargon of contingency (unless, of course, contextual evidence suggests that one is dealing with a conditional prophecy). (2) Generally, a significant time frame must lapse between the prophetic utterance and the fulfillment, so as to exclude the possibility of ‘educated speculation.’ (3) The prophecy must involve specific details, not vague generalities. (4) The predictive declarations must be fulfilled precisely and completely. No mere substantial percentage will suffice. One should recognize, though, that occasionally a prophecy may contain figurative terminology; this does not, however, militate against its evidential validity.” (Wayne Jackson, ‘Babylon: A Test Case In Prophecy,’ in Kyle Butt, Behold! The Word Of God, 1598-1604 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama; Apologetics Press)
The Bible Prophets often spoke plain words and detailed prophecies to the people of their day and age. While the Prophets were primarily concerned with calling the people of God to repentance, they were often given supernatural insight into the future so that the people could know that what they had spoken was truly from the Lord. This was in contrast to the pagan prophets, who often spoke in ambiguous riddles and used hallucinogenic drugs and demanded those those who came to seek their revelations” use drugs also. As Barfield has noted:
“Using historical and archaeological data, researchers established several facts: (1) Inquirers visited the oracle at a complex underground location. (2) Before presenting an inquiry, visitors faced a month of mind-altering experiences. These included solitary confinement in a room plastered with dreadful pictorial representations of the underworld. (3) Visitors lived for a month in extremely cramped quarters, shut off from natural light. (4) The only light came from lamps probably burning hashish. The psychological setting, coupled with the inhalation of vast amounts of hashish, possible bathing in drugged water, and ingestion of drugs by various mechanisms, guaranteed vivid, strong, and repeated hallucinations.” (Kenny Barfield, The Prophet Motive: Examining The Reliability Of The Biblical Prophets, 195; Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate Company)
We will notice some examples of Bible prophecy and fulfillment which clearly demonstrate that the Bible is the Product of Divine inspiration.