August 23, 2015

Prophecy As Evidence – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. ‘Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done,’ Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of  My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.’” (Isaiah 46:8-11)

Isaiah says that Israel was to remember that God had foretold the history that they were witnessing and that remembrance was intended to be a powerful assurance, irrefutable evidence that would stand as a basis for faith. Similarly, when Peter referred to assurance of eye-witness testimony, he said that the word of prophecy was even “more sure.”

“…we were eyewitnesses of his majesty…we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word…”

(II Peter 1:16,19)

Isaiah 46 is a  remarkable prophecy, one of the main stumbling blocks of liberals who use it as an excuse for their completely wrong notion of a “second Isaiah.” Long before Jerusalem was invaded and its temple destroyed by the armies of Babylon, Isaiah was already prophesying its rebuilding!

Furthermore, the great Persian emperor Cyrus (whose nation would eventually conquer Babylon) was here named by God, about 150 years before he was born and 175 years before he would fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy by giving Ezra authority to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 1:1-2)

Consider the faithful comments of Keil & Delitzsch (quite different from more modern, liberal commentaries).

“Jehovah not only foretells before the appearance of Cyrus what is to be expected of him, but declares that His determination must be realized, that He will bring to pass everything upon which His will is set, and summons the man upon the stage of history as the instrument of its accomplishment, so that He knew Cyrus before he himself had either consciousness or being… (Isa. 45:4, 5).”

“His [Jehovah’s] word is made by Him into a deed, His idea into a reality. rAxÎy is a word used particularly by Isaiah, to denote the ideal preformation of the future in the mind of God (cf., Isa. 22:11; 37:26). … Cyrus comes down like an eagle, in the strength of Jehovah. … Jehovah from the olden time, that is to say, of the One God who is now foretelling and carrying out the destruction of the imperial city through the eagle from the east.”

Since liberal scholars do not want to believe in miracles and fulfilled prophecy, they have decided that this prophecy could not have been written by the original Isaiah but by some later writer living after Cyrus. The truth is, however, that God controls the future and can reveal it if He chooses, using this very fact as proof that He will keep His other promises.

“Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him. …For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen  one, I have also  called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though [“when” NLT] you have not known Me.” (Isaiah 45:1,4)

Another of many dramatic examples is seen in the prophecy against the altar that rebellious Jeroboam set up in order to wean Israel away from God’s ordained worship. In this prophecy, God named King Josiah as His agent, long before he was born.

“Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn

incense.  He cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” …The altar also was split apart and the ashes were poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.” (I Kings 13:1-2, 5)

The specific prophecy concerning him waited to be fulfilled for over 300 years after it was first spoken.

“Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he   demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. Now when Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things.” (II Kings 23:15-16).

Keil & Delitzsch comment:

“In order to desecrate this idolatrous site for all time, Josiah had human bones taken out of the graves that were to be found upon the mountain, and burned upon the altar, whereby the prophecy uttered in the reign of Jeroboam by the prophet who came out of Judah concerning this idolatrous place of worship was fulfilled;”

It may take a long time, but God will surely do all He has said.

The New Living Testament puts it this way:

“Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” (Isaiah 46:9)

This is intended to be, and is, truly powerful, faith building evidence.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

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