3 Prophesied Names Prove the God of the Bible!
By Nathan Jones
Does a perfect track record of fulfilled Bible prophecy assure us that future prophesied events will come to pass? And, does that also give us proof that the God of the Bible is the one true God?
Our special guest on Christ in Prophecy this week, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, makes that amazing claim.
Mark was a lawyer who felt called by the Lord to give up his legal career and enter into full-time ministry, so he enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary. Since 1991, he has been the Senior Pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Mark’s published many books related to Bible prophecy, including one of his best titled The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy: What You Need to Know in These Uncertain Times.
I have a lot of respect for Mark because he’s always taught the Bible from the Bible, never straying into the sensational Bible prophecy teachings such as Nephilim and UFOs that have become so popular as of late. Mark gets great joy out of teaching the Bible for its plain sense meaning, and that should be an inspiration to us all.
Nathan Jones: Mark, what motivated you to write The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy?
Mark Hitchcock: The Bible is filled with prophecy. About 500 prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled. Most people don’t realize that. And, there are about 500 yet to be fulfilled. It’d be hard to put all the biblical prophecies into one book, though Dr. John Walvoord actually did so.
I think a lot of people don’t realize how minute, how specific, and how detailed the prophecies of the Bible really are. Remember that prophecies are foretold centuries, if not millennia, before they are finally fulfilled, but they’re fulfilled.
In the first half of my book, I covered just ten of the amazing prophecies that have already been fulfilled, then in the second half another ten, but that are yet to be fulfilled. The purpose in organizing the content this way was to show that there is a God. God is involved in human history. God knows the future.
Also, I wanted to show that since these prophecies which include such minute, specific details long written ago in the past have been literally fulfilled, then the prophecies in the Bible that are yet to be fulfilled will most certainly one day be literally realized. So, the book’s really more of an apologetic in many ways. I wrote it to grow our Christian faith, but also to demonstrate these future prophecies that haven’t yet been fulfilled, well they are going to be fulfilled just like those prophecies that have already been fulfilled in the past.
Therefore, you can trust that the Bible has a 100% track record when it comes to accuracy! I make this claim in my book:
“Prophecy is the most credible proof of the uniqueness, and the divine inspiration of the Bible. Its importance can hardly be overstated. Fulfilled prophecy validates the Bible with all its precious truth it contains. And, therefore, then we can trust… the nature and character of God, the Creation, the nature of man, salvation, the existence of Heaven and Hell.. as 100% accurate.”
Let’s face it, there is no other book in existence that has such accurately detailed prophecies as the Bible. Fulfilled prophecy sets the Bible apart. People might ask, “What’s the difference between the Bible and the Koran? Or, the Book of Mormon?” I answer, “The Bible has the fingerprints of God upon it, because God’s Word tells the future. Prophecy comes to pass 100% accurately 100% of the time. That’s what sets the Bible apart. To me, fulfilled Bible prophecy is the ultimate apologetic proving the truth of the Bible.
Built on the solid foundation that is fulfilled Bible prophecy, I wrote the second half of my book about ten amazing future prophecies. These still future prophecies are just as incredible and amazing as those that were fulfilled in the past.
People will approach me warily and admit, “I’m not really sure I can believe that prophecy is really going to happen.” I proceed to show them that if these prophecies in the past were literally 100% fulfilled, then we can know for sure that those ones still waiting for fulfillment in the future will come to pass as well. Fulfilled Bible prophecy really forms the foundational basis for us believing that future prophecies will indeed come to pass.
Specially fulfilled Bible prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that there is a God, and on that proof we can put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. As I say, “Bible prophecy is history written in advance.”
Nathan Jones: Mark, your first claim in your book The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy starts with a name. The name of this person was prophesied decades before he was born. Did that really happen?
Mark Hitchcock: A few places in the Bible God names people long before they have even been born. Probably one the greatest prophetic naming of names occurred back in the book of Isaiah with Cyrus the Medo-Persian king. The prophecy can be found in Isaiah 44:28.
“God says, ‘It is I who says of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and he will perform all my desire. And he declares to Jerusalem, ‘She will be built.’ And of the Temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’ Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand to subdue nations before me, to loose the loins of kings, to open doors before him, so the gates will not be shut.’”
To put the prophecy into context, the book of Isaiah was written 700 years before Christ was born, so about 700 BC. This prophecy about Cyrus concerns a man who wasn’t born until around 590-580 BC. So, we have a prophecy recorded in 700 BC, but then it’s nearly 120 years before Cyrus is even born, and Isaiah actually names Cyrus by name!
Because of how miraculous this prophecy is, many liberal scholars don’t believe Isaiah was written in 700 BC, and so either push the date of the writing of Isaiah forward or claim the book wasn’t actually written by Isaiah. They reason based off of their anti-supernatural bias. They would make the claim that nobody can predict the future, so the fact that Cyrus is named here means this “prophecy” must have been written after the fact.
I disagree. The whole point of this section of the book of Isaiah that God is making is that He is the One who knows the end from the beginning. God knows the future. And, not only does God name Cyrus, and call him by name, but God says He is going to “open doors before him.” God is the One who is going to be sovereignly acting through Cyrus.
God announces that Cyrus will declare to Jerusalem that, “‘She will be built,’ and of the Temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’” God is prophesying in 700 BC about the rebuilding of the Temple, and at that time the Temple hadn’t even been destroyed yet, until 586 BC.
So, over a hundred years before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, God prophesies Cyrus’ name, and then he prophesies the rebuilding of the Temple, which then presupposes it’s going to have to be destroyed as well. Again, all of this prophecy was made over a hundred years before Cyrus was ever born!
The minute details of Bible prophecy are simply amazing! You can see why people who don’t want to believe the Bible want to get away from prophetic fulfillment by claiming somebody else had to have written these verses after the fact. They do so because if this prophecy was truly written in 700 BC by Isaiah, and fulfilled 120 years later, it’s proof positive that there is a God. Yahweh is the true God for He knows the future.
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God didn’t just in the Old Testament prophetically name Cyrus, but He also prophesied there’d be a King Josiah. Josiah was the last godly king of Judah.
In 1 Kings 13:2, there is a prophet — a man of God — who says to the wicked King Jeroboam up in the Northern Kingdom of Israel that there will be coming a man named Josiah, and he is going to dig up the bones of the pagan priests who serve Jeroboam and burn them on their own altar. Some 290 years later, Josiah comes on the scene, and he does exactly what the prophet declared. Josiah’s story can be found in 2 Kings 23:10-15, and what he does fulfills the prophet’s message — almost 300 years ahead of time!
If those two prophetic namings aren’t enough for you, there is a third naming. This is my favorite one. In Isaiah 7, again 700 years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah tells us that the virgin will conceive, she shall bear a son, and his name will be called Immanuel. That’s speaking about Jesus!
Of course, Jesus was never named Immanuel, but the title is a description of who He is. When Jesus is born in Matthew 1, He is called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” One of the many names of Jesus is prophesied 700 years before Jesus comes on the scene.
Again, specially fulfilled Bible prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that the God of the Bible is the one true God, and on that proof we can put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.