Table of Contents
Part III: Striking Fulfillments of
we have some predictions made about two cities in the Middle
East, one of them to be torn down and the other to be built up.
The circumstances surrounding the fulfillmemts of these predictions
are such that the argument for the reality of fulfilled prophecies
is proved to be perfectly valid as a clear demonstration that
the men who set them down were instructed by One who had complete
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The evidence cannot be undermined
by any of the usual "explanations" which are brought
forward by those who argue against such things. There is, for
example, no question of literary deceit in which, after the events
had transpired, the pretended predictions about them are put
back into the mouth of a prophet who is supposed to have lived
long before. This would be prediction after the event.
For example, Higher Critics --
partly because they make the assumption that prophecy in any
specific sense is not possible -- argue that Daniel's vision
of four successive world empires (Babylonian, Persian, Greek
and Roman) was really written by someone who lived after these
powers had already appeared and then put back into Daniel's mouth
so as to strengthen the faith of his Jewish brethren by proposing
that these events were part of God's purposes and were fully
foreseen. These "visions" were really penned, we are
told, when the last world empire was already in the making and
the other three had already passed into history. If one were
to use Daniel's visions and their subsequent fulfillment as proof
of the reality of fulfilled prophecy, it is almost certain that
someone in the audience would raise the Higher Critics' objection,
and a useless argument would result that would probably completely
undermine the whole purpose of presenting the evidence in the
first place. That is
not the case with these two cities.
the possibility that such prophecies as these were what might
be called "inspired guesses" which happened to turn
out to be correct is surely excluded. For example, in Luke 21:24
the Lord said, "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the
Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
To the Christian who needs no convincing, "trodden down"
was a prophecy that has been fulfilled to the letter many times
in the last two thousand years. To the non-Christian, it might
well be taken merely as the insight of a wise man who could see
that by its very position in the Middle East, at a kind of crossroads
between world powers ranged around it, the city was almost bound
to be subject to such vicissitudes. Again, the illustrations
we have used are remarkable for their very unlikelihood.
Third, the events that transpired
to bring about the exact fulfillment of these prophecies were,
most assuredly, not deliberately undertaken in order to guarantee
their fulfillment. It is hardly necessary to illustrate this
further. The only possible exception might have been the circumstances
which led to the modern growth of Jerusalem: but as we have seen,
the very people most likely to profit by deliberately sponsoring
its fulfillment would be those desiring to exploit real estate
values. And apparently these people did not -- except in one
or two cases, and rather by accident than design -- make a "killing"
when they might easily have done so. It does not appear that
any group of people gambled on this prophecy in order to make
money. All those who contributed to the fulfillment of the prophecies
studied here did so apparently with no other intent than the
expedient of achieving an immediate objective each of them had
in view at the time.
Fourth, the original prophetic
statements are so clear and straightforward that there is absolutely
no question as to their having been specifically fulfilled in
the events described. Not a few prophecies in the Old Testament
take such a veiled form that a hostile mind might well object
that the claim to their fulfillment could be argued at several
different points in history. For example, Isaiah (7:14) declared
that a virgin should conceive and that before the child should
come to know the difference between right and wrong, the ruling
king would be deposed. Every believer holds with the New Testament
that this was ultimately fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ.
But it may be argued that Isaiah's immediate reference was to
a young child to be born of an unmarried girl living in his own
day, for otherwise it could not possibly be a sign to Ahaz. It
is, in fact one of the reasons why the word translated "virgin"
has also the meaning of an unmarried woman. Quite a few important
prophecies have this
element of dual fulfillment, so that if one wanted to, one might
say they were really not very specific and might indeed have
been fulfilled even more than twice. The prophecies we have illustrated
are not subject to this criticism.
Finally, the fulfillment is there
for anyone to see who has the means and the will to undertake
the journey. The columns of Tyre lie in the water, and fishermen
spread their nets. One can walk over the plowed ground which
once was Zion. One can explore the suburbs of revived Jerusalem
and observe for oneself the exact lines of its growth. Many specific
prophecies were unmistakably fulfilled by the events of our Lord's
life, but we have no proof of this except in the Gospels: and
it is only begging the issue to expect this kind of evidence
of fulfilled prophecy to be acceptable, since the proof of fulfillment
is drawn from the very Scripture which we are trying to validate.
It is analogous to defining a word with the word itself in the
definition. The prophecies explored in this Paper require no
more than the reasonable use of one's critical faculties in evaluating
the evidence presented.
We are left, therefore, with no
other alternative than to assume that a real communication took
place between God and man -- a communication which involved much
more than merely a vague sense that God "is speaking to
one" in the kind of way that poets and others say God speaks
to them in Nature. In other words, there is a real possibility
that the normally accepted channels for passing information and
acquiring knowledge which exist in the natural order of things
today is not the only means available. If this is true, it would
surely be folly not to make at least some effort to explore personally
the implications of some of the other prophetic statements which
God has assured us will come true in the experience of any individual
who fulfills the conditions.
These too are prophecies. Speaking
of man's heart, Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
come in and will sup with him and he with Me" (Revelation
3:20). This is a promise of the closest possible fellowship within.
And Jesus also said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he
that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved
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