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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 13, 2009

  • 2009 Jan 13
  • COMMENTS
 

Biblical Prophecy II

Isaiah 41

What is the simplest and yet most profound evidence the Bible offers? Fulfilled Biblical prophecy. What an irrefutable verification reserved to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures alone. Prophecy is the missing element in all other sacred scriptures of the world's religions, it is not to be found in them, by contrast prophecy comprises about one third of the Scriptures!

Because of the undeniable verification of history pre-written by God, may I impress upon your heart that the book you hold in your hands is unlike any other in the universe? And with that truth deeply upon our hearts, in the days ahead, shouldn't we treat it differently, read it diligently, wait before it expectantly, and from it learn to live triumphantly?

Yesterday we learned about PROPHECIES OF JESUS CHRIST. There are no less than 300 specific prophecies in the Scriptures about our Lord Jesus Christ.

But today lets look at FIVE EVENTS GOD DIRECTED AND FORETOLD THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE WORLD!

God writes history in advance. To get a frame of reference imagine with me that in 1700, somewhere in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, an unknown religious writer wrote about a future ruler. This ruler:

  • Would come to power in Europe
  • Would take control of a land called Germany [in 1700 it was called Prussia]
  • Would be named Adolph Hitler
  • Would conquer the continent
  • And would be defeated by the Allied Forces

Now notice the year was 1700 and there was no

  • Allied Forces, America was a Colony of Britain
  • There was barely a Germany
  • and Hitler was not to be born for 200 years!

Now, turn with me to Isaiah 41 to see why this description is so important. Look at another demonstration of the power of God as shown through His Word.

Isaiah 41:21 "Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forth your strong [reasons,"] says the King of Jacob. (NKJV)

Now look at Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." (NKJV)
God has staked His very character on the perfection and permanence of His Word! Look at His character revealed in v. 12-31. So God declared that:

  • Because idols are foolish Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? (NKJV)
  • Because God is eternal and powerful Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." (NKJV)
  • Let me show you My power Isaiah 41:21-23 "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. (NKJV)

Declaring the future with precise details is a proof of God and His Divine Power! Now lets examine some of those precise details about the future He has written down for us.

THE REIGN OF CYRUS [written in 740 BC = 181 years before it happened in 559 BC]

This is the prophecy of Five that changed the course of the world, is about a future conqueror named by God two hundred years before His birth! Sitting at a desk in a small and obscure home in ancient walled Jerusalem a young prophet of the God of Israel named Isaiah did just that. Open with me please to Isaiah 45:1-3

"Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held -- To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: 2 'I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call [you] by your name, [Am] the God of Israel. (NKJV)

These words were inspired by God to Isaiah in about the year 740 BC. What are the specifics? First we will list them and then back up and see what exactly God is saying.

  • A ruler not even born yet is coming. He will subdue nations and open doors for God. He is called by name - Cyrus ( He was born in about 589 BC and reigned from 559 to 530 BC) nearly 200 years after these words were written.
  • The Lord says he was an anointed servant doing the plan of God. Note that God has some very specific plans for him to carry out Isaiah 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, '[He is] My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, "You shall be built," And to the temple, "Your foundation shall be laid." ' (NKJV)
  • Wait a minute. Isaiah is looking at the Temple on Moriah even as he writes these words. It is Solomon's and it is there in all its glory. The Babylonians don't destroy it for 154 more years in 586 BC.
  • The Lord says:
    The city of Jerusalem will be taken,
    Temple will be destroyed,
    A pagan ruler will command its reconstruction,
    And all this at the hand of a God who declares it almost 200 years ahead of time!

So when Isaiah speaks of a future conqueror ordained of God he is demonstrating one of the claims of the Lord to His right to be worshiped. As God He WRITES THE FUTURE!

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