Discovering God's Fingerprints Dr. Robert C. Newman
Hershey Ev Free Ch, 20 Sept 1997 Biblical Theol Seminary
WORKSHOP ON FULFILLED PROPHECY
Many think Xy superstitious, blind faith; while atheism, humanism, etc. are reasonable, firmly grounded in evidence; but opposite is the case
Look at one line of evidence for Xy: fulfilled prophecy
TIME OF MESSIAH: Daniel 9:25‑26
Dan 9:25 (NIV) "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven `sevens,' and sixty-two `sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two `sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
Starting point 445 BC: 20 year of Artaxerxes 1 (Neh 2)
Unit of measurement: sabbatical cycle: 7 yrs beg in Oct
Standard Jewish counting method: include start & end units
After (7 +) 62 weeks = AD 28‑35
445 BC 30 AD
449 442 435 428 BC AD 14 21 28 35
|-------|-------|-------|--- . . . . -----|------|------|------|
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 66th 67th 68th 69th
ISRAEL'S FUTURE: Hosea 3:4‑5
Hose 3:4 (NIV) For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Six unusual sociological features characterizing Israel for almost 2000 yrs
King/prince: no king since 587 BC or AD 44; no prince from AD 70 to 1948
Sacrifice/sacred pillar: no sacrifice since 70; app no pillar since c 500 BC
Ephod/teraphim: no priesthood since 70, no teraphim since c 500 BC
TWIN CITIES: Various passages
Good test to show that Bible really does make clear predictions that come true
Like tests used in trying out a new medicine; use a control group which is paired with test group, but gets fake pills
Memphis & Thebes: capitals of ancient Egypt
Tyre & Sidon: seaports of ancient Phoenicia (Lebanon)
Ashkelon & Ekron: two of the Philistine cities
Babylon & Nineveh: capitals of ancient empires
The prophecies fulfilled.
Prophecies (Ezk 30:13-16)
Memphis to have its idols destroyed
Thebes to have its masses of people cut off
Memphis site became quarry for building Cairo
by Muslims who hated idols
Thebes reduced from large capital city to a
few small villages
No good if names switched, as Memphis now suburb of Cairo,
and many idols found at Thebes
Tyre (Ezk 26:1-14) to have its rubble thrown into sea, its site scraped clean, becoming a place for spreading fishnets, never to be rebuilt
Sidon (Ezk 28:20-23) to face war and disaster, but nothing said about being abandoned
Tyre's mainland city destroyed about 600 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, but most people escaped to island offshore; almost 300 yrs later, Alexander besieged island, used rubble from old city to build road out to island; mainland site used for spreading nets today, never rebuilt
Sidon has often been besieged and conquered, but survives today as one of major ports of Lebanon
Again, no good if names switched, but perfect fit as is
Prophecies (Zeph 2:4-7):
Ashkelon was to be reduced to ruins, but later inhabited by a remnant of the Jews
Ekron was to be uprooted
Both inhabited until Crusades, when both destroyed, and harbor of Ashkelon filled w/ stones
Since 1948, Jews rebuilt Ashkelon and cleared harbor, but location of Ekron still uncertain
Babylon to be deserted, without Arabs or shepherd, to be a home for wild animals (Isa 13:19-22), its stone not to be used as bldg stone again (Jer 51:26)
Nineveh (Zeph 2:13-15) to be destroyed and left desolate, but to become a place for grazing sheep
Babylon has become deserted over the centuries, partly by conquest, partly by shift in river, leaving site without water; Arabs avoid site as haunted, soil too poor for grazing even sheep; native use site for clay bricks, but burn stone to make lime instead of building stone
Nineveh was destroyed suddenly and location forgotten for centuries; name of largest mound Quyunyiq means "many sheep"; long abandoned, tho recently suburbs of Mosul have grown out to reach site
Conclusions re/ cities.
Striking fulfillment of numerous details about these cities
Not just the sort of thing that one could say about any city
In fact, if you trade names among the paired cities, the
fulfillments would not have come true!
This shows us that the God of the Bible really does control history
And He controls your history too!
LIGHT TO THE GENTILES: Isaiah 42:6; 49:6
Isa 42:6 (NIV) "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
Isa 49:6 (NIV) he says:
"It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
The "suffering servant" to be a light to the Gentiles, though despised by his own nation
What other Messianic claimant has started a world religion?
Need to pay serious attention to this evidence
It shows us that God exists, and that he is the God of the Bible.
2 Great commandments
We are separated from God
What are we living for?
Jesus paid it all
Turn back to God
Share in His work
Books in Print:
Barfield, Kenny. The Prophet Motive: Examining the Reliability of the Biblical Prophets. Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate, 1995. The most extensive prsentation to date of fulfilled prophecy in Scripture as an apologetic for the truth of Christianity.
Gronigen, Gerard Van. Messianic Revelation in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1990. A massive study of the Messiah-theme, emphasizing detailed interpretation of the passages in their textual and historical context.
Montgomery, John Warwick, ed. Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question. Dallas, TX: Probe/Word, 1991. A general book on Christian evidences with several chapters on fulfilled prophecies, including the "twin cities" material.
Newman, Robert C., ed. The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1988. Detailed discussions of several fulfilled predictions concerning nations of the ancient near east, Israel, and the Messiah. Includes material on the time of Messiah's first coming and the fulfillment of Hos 3:4-5 in Israel's history.
Payne, J. Barton. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. New York: Harper and Row, 1971. A compendium of all the prophetic passages in the Bible, suggesting how and when each was or will be fulfilled.
Some Shorter Presentations: these are currently in the process of being translated into French, German, Russian, and Spanish
Newman, Robert C. "The Time of the Messiah." IBRI Research Report 9 (1981, 1988). Looks at Daniel's 70 weeks, plus two other prophecies suggesting the time of the Messiah's first coming.
Newman, Robert C. "The New Testament Model of the Messiah," IBRI Research Report 6 (1981, 1988). A comparison of the success of various ancient models in explaining the paradoxical data of Old Testament Messianic prophecy.
Some Classic Works on Fulfilled Prophecy:
Keith, Alexander. Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion Derived from the Literal Fulfillment of Prophecy. 36th ed. Edinburgh: William Whyte and Co., 1848.
Kellogg, Samuel H. The Jews, or Prediction and Fulfillment: an Argument for the Times. New York: Anson Randolph, 1887.
Newton, Thomas. Dissertations on the Prophecies Which Have Been Remarkably Been Fulfilled, and at This time are Fulfilling in the World. London: J. F. Dove; Philadelphia: Crissy and Markley, 1853.
Urquhart, John. The Wonders of Prophecy. Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, n.d. [1st ed., 1887].