Power Of Prophecy
The power of prophecy is illustrated in the classic book, Science Speaks. In it, Peter Stoner reviews some of the historical prophecies of the Old Testament, including Babylon, Tyre, Samaria, Gaza-Ashkelon, Jerusalem, Palestine, Moab-Ammon, and Petra-Edom. He uses peer-reviewed mathematical analysis and principles of probability to conclude:
- No human being has ever made predictions which hold any comparison to those we have considered, and had them accurately come true. The span of time between the writing of these prophecies and their fulfillment is so great that the most severe critic cannot claim that the predictions were made after the events happened.1
As I reviewed my notes, I was truly excited, yet somehow uneasy with the power of prophecy...
As I studied these predictions, I couldn't deny a recurring theme in the Old Testament...
Who was this predicted "Messiah" (Shiloh) mentioned as far back as the Book of Genesis? 2
Who was this coming "Ruler" that the prophet Micah said would be born in Bethlehem, yet preexisted time itself? 3
Who was this "Immanuel" (literally, "God-with-us") who the prophet Isaiah declared would be born of a virgin? 4
Who was this "Redeemer" that Job said would come to save him and the world from death? 5
Who was this prophesied "Son" that would be referred to as "Wonderful," "Counselor," "Mighty God," and the "Prince of Peace?" 6
For me, the biblical test of prophecy came through! Intellectually, I had no choice but to accept the facts -- the fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament authenticate its inspiration from outside our time dimension. There was no other logical conclusion... as hard as I tried to find one!
But what about all those predictions of a coming Jewish "Messiah" (Savior) found throughout a number of books in the Old Testament? What was I to make of them? Did I really need to deal with those as part of my prophecy analysis?
I was so uneasy with what the Old Testament was revealing to me that I went out and purchased an English version of the Hebrew Tanakh. I figured that some of these predictions had to be after-the-fact insertions by non-Jews. I decided to go "right to the source" and clear this up...
Guess what? The same "Messianic" "predictions" were there in the Jewish Scriptures -- plain as day...
The power of prophecy was real to me, and my heart was truly uneasy... I needed to slow myself down... I needed to retreat to my intellect again...
I went back to my original list of questions and issues in my notebook...
1 Peter Stoner, Science Speaks: An Evaluation of Certain Christian Evidences, Moody Press, 1963, 115. http://www.geocities.com/stonerdon/science_speaks.html#c8.
2 Genesis 49:10.
3 Micah 5:2.
4 Isaiah 7:14.
5 Job 19:25.
6 Isaiah 9:6.
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