Many do not know that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. This language is known as a holy language, the language of prayer and religious observances, should be viewed as “inspired by God,” meaning “God-breathed.”
If you believe in God and believe that He reveals Himself to mankind, then it is reasonable to think that this book, which has stood the test of time, goes beyond the best of human wisdom.
People like to use the excuse for not believing everything that is written in the Bible as being true, because it was written by men with flaws.
There has been great attention paid to preservation and transmission of the Scriptures from generation to generation, especially before the invention of the printing press. For example, the oldest text of Isaiah 53, we have, is approximately 200 BCE; it was found in Qumran and is part of the collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Before this discovery, the oldest text we had was from 900 CE. The two texts are virtually identical word for word, which gives powerful testimony to the care and precision of the Jewish copyists – and to the hand of God upon the process.
The key to having our lives enriched and changed by the “Living” Word of God is not how the Bible was written, but rather allowing the meaning of “what” was written to be our focus.
God created a perfect world, including a perfect man and woman, and gave them free will. Adam and Eve rebelled, as did the generations that followed them. For years and years, God intended to use the Jewish people to bring mercy to the world, but they rebelled. After this, God sent Jesus to reconcile people to Himself, as predicted by the prophets. Jesus is the focus throughout the Scriptures.
Biblical prophecy goes beyond simply telling the future, for it includes the prophet’s ability to speak God’s message to the present.
The story of the Bible, when starting at the beginning, is ever-moving forward, towards the coming of the Messiah and then to the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. History will come to a conclusion. Bible history is very different from other cultures that believe history is forever repeating itself and there is no conclusion, just a series of new beginnings.
Prophets could predict the future because of the understanding that time moved from a definite starting point to a definite conclusion. This is the basis for biblical prophecy: the fact that the future is known by God and He uses the prophets to reveal some of what will eventually come to pass. Why? So that when the prophet’s predictions came to pass, the Israelites would know that the prophet was a genuine messenger of God.
The Future According To Scripture
Future events in the Bible focus on four main groups: The future of the nation of Israel; the future of the nations of the world; the future of the individual; and the future of the Church, both Jews and Gentiles in Christ.
Prophecy is also divided into three categories; prophecies that are fulfilled immediately (many examples in the Bible); an intermediate fulfillment, these would take many years to unfold; and end-time prophecies deal with events still in the future.
The fulfillment of immediate and intermediate prophecies confirms the truths of Scripture and of God’s plan. Because we read and know of these, it gives us hope and confidence that all future prophecies will come to pass also.
Prophecies of the destruction of the Temple, the birth of the Messiah, the scattering of Israel from their land, and the return of the Jewish people to their land, were all intermediate prophecies (at the time they were given). The fact that they all were fulfilled is a huge hint that those prophecies about the end-times will come to pass also. This also proves that Scripture is trustworthy.
This is the same God that told His prophets that: He would create a nation from Abraham’s loins; that one day their swords would be turned into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4); that the Messiah will reign on David’s throne and that there will be no end to the increase of His government (Isaiah 9:6, 7); that the Messiah who will rule, would first die and rise from the dead.
God also, through His prophets, foretold that nations would try to destroy the Jewish people, but that they would not succeed. Through His prophet Jeremiah, God also promised that one day He would make a new covenant with the Jewish people (Jeremiah 31:31). None of these prophecies were a coincidence, they were all prophecies given to God’s prophets and were fulfilled or are being fulfilled.
Moses is the one that set the standards for prophetic accuracy in Deuteronomy 18:17-22. Moses told us when we read, that if a prophecy does not come to pass, then the Israelites would have the right to utilize capital punishment and execute the prophet. That insured a person would be very cautious before claiming “God said it!” Today, anyone can “spout-off” any old thing they want to, and expect people to believe that it came from God. Keep this one rule in mind: If it contradicts the Word of God, it is not true.
Please don’t lose interest in reading and studying about the prophets and Bible prophecy. I’m going somewhere with this study, so don’t stop now. I mainly want believers to know God is true and there is no hope for the Jew or Gentile if we leave Jesus out! Our understanding of who Jesus is, who God is, and prophecy fulfilled will change a person’s life to the extent of looking forward to the day when our beloved King rules and reigns with what He has created!