Bible Prophecy and You: Amazing Examples of Prophecies Already Fulfilled

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Amazing Examples of Prophecies Already Fulfilled

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Bible Prophecy and You: Amazing Examples of Prophecies Already Fulfilled

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Welcome to the fifth lesson in the “Bible Prophecy and You” series.

With this lesson, we hope to whet your appetite for a subject not only exciting but very profitable spiritually. It will strengthen your faith in God and your faith in the Bible as the infallible revelation of God!

As you learn how Bible prophecies of events that are now in the past were fulfilled in exact detail, you will come to fully trust and believe in the prophecies of yet future events that will take place!

The mission of God’s prophets was more about preaching repentance and obedience than about foretelling future events. They defined good and evil and explained the outcomes. But their prophecies and how they were fulfilled are truly inspiring.

Every fulfilled prophecy exalts and glorifies God! He is the all-powerful Creator of the universe who has a master plan, who determines future events and then brings them to pass—exactly in every detail, and exactly on time!

All fulfilled prophecies are amazing. Only God can truly foretell the future because only He has the power to make what He foretells come to pass (Isaiah 46:9-11 Isaiah 46:9-11 9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes my counsel from a far country: yes, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
American King James Version×
).

Bible prophecy begins with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

In the midst of the beautiful garden stood two trees. God had warned the first human couple not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the devil, speaking through a serpent, convinced Eve that God was lying and withholding good things from them.

“‘You won’t die!’ the serpent hissed. ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil’” (Genesis 3:4-5 Genesis 3:4-5 4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
American King James Version×
, New Living Translation).

Eve believed the lie. She and Adam both chose to disobey their Creator, so God took away the idyllic blessings of life in the Garden of Eden and their opportunity to then partake of the tree representing eternal life. God also foretold that they— and all mankind after them —would have much more difficulty in this life with their relationships, childbearing, farming, earning a livelihood and many related problems (Genesis 3:16-19 Genesis 3:16-19 16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. 17 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
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; Genesis 3:22-24 Genesis 3:22-24 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from from where he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
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). All mankind shares in these curses because “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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).

Yet in the judgment God decreed for Satan, He hinted at His plan for the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-21 Acts 3:19-21 19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
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). He told the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed [Jesus Christ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
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).

Bruising the heel of the woman’s Seed was metaphorical of Christ’s crucifixion and death, which could not hold Him. After three days and three nights He was raised from the dead. Christ’s sacrifice provided the way to remove the penalties of sin, and after Christ’s second coming, He will remove these curses from the earth.

A sampling of prophecies already fulfilled

No human being can “see” the future on his or her own. The best anybody can do in that regard is make an educated guess. God’s prophets (sometimes called “seers”) were allowed to see into the future through God’s revelation— whether by word or vision. And they relayed what God revealed. Fulfilled prophecies therefore prove the supreme divinity of God and the absolute veracity and validity of the Bible.

Bible prophecies have revealed the details of the two greatest world events, one in the past and one in the future. These events are the first coming of Jesus Christ and His second coming! We will focus on these in future lessons in this series.

The current lesson contains a very small sample of the hundreds of other prophesied events that have already happened.

Did God foretell a catastrophic flood that would destroy the entire earth?

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord …

“‘And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you [Noah]; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you’” (Genesis 6:5-8 Genesis 6:5-8 5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
American King James Version×
; Genesis 6:17-18 Genesis 6:17-18 17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with you will I establish my covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
American King James Version×
).

Because of the extreme evil that pervaded the earth, God said that a worldwide flood would destroy every human being except Noah and his family. God called Noah to build an ark and at the same time to be a “preacher of righteousness,” warning the people to repent of their sins (2 Peter 2:5 2 Peter 2:5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
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).

Genesis 6:3 Genesis 6:3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
American King James Version×
appears to mean that God announced His plan 120 years before the Flood, which would mean that Noah had 120 years to warn people. This is a remarkable example of how God is merciful and “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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). But then, at last, the Flood came.

Confirmation of this event comes through Jesus Christ, the prophets and the apostles all referring to Noah and the Flood as facts of history. Abundant geological evidence also testifies of a worldwide flood. (For more information, search for “Noah’s Flood: Did It Really Happen? ” at ucg.org/learnmore.) We can learn great spiritual lessons from this series of events including one that Jesus explained in Matthew 24:37-39 Matthew 24:37-39 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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.

Did God foretell enormous blessings for the descendants of Abraham?

“Now the Lord had said to Abram [later renamed Abraham]: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’” (Genesis 12:1-3 Genesis 12:1-3 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
American King James Version×
).

“And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This one [a servant born in Abram’s house] shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (Genesis 15:4-5 Genesis 15:4-5 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be.
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).

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’

“Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

“‘I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God’” (Genesis 17:1-8 Genesis 17:1-8 1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. 6 And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. 8 And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
American King James Version×
).

“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice’” (Genesis 22:15-18 Genesis 22:15-18 15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
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).

God foretold that Abraham would have a son in his old age and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and that he would “be a father of many nations.” The fulfillment of the many promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a big and exciting subject in itself. For a full explanation, please download or request our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy .

God also gave a vital spiritual promise to Abraham. When God said in Genesis 22:18 Genesis 22:18And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
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and 26:4 that “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,” He was primarily foretelling the blessings to come through one descendant—the singular “Seed,” Jesus Christ—who would be the “Savior of the world” (Galatians 3:16 Galatians 3:16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.
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; 1 John 4:14 1 John 4:14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
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). God gave this prophecy almost 1,900 years before the birth of Jesus!

Did God tell Abraham that over the course of 400 years his descendants would be sojourners and later enslaved in a foreign land and then liberated to “come out with great possessions”?

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:13-14 Genesis 15:13-14 13 And he said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their’s, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
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, New International Version).

This amazing prophecy undoubtedly triggered many big questions in the mind of Abraham: Why and how will they become enslaved? How will God deliver them? How will they be able to come out of slavery with great possessions?

The prophecy was fulfilled by Abraham’s descendants migrating to Egypt, later becoming enslaved there, and eventually being delivered by God under the leadership of Moses. The liberation of the Israelites is described in the book of Exodus (see especially Exodus 3:20-22 Exodus 3:20-22 20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the middle thereof: and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when you go, you shall not go empty. 22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojournes in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you shall spoil the Egyptians.
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).

Did God tell Moses that He would use many mighty miracles to bring Israel out of Egypt and bring them to a wonderful Promised Land?

“And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites …

“‘But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go’” (Exodus 3:7-8 Exodus 3:7-8 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good land and a large, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
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; Exodus 3:19-20 Exodus 3:19-20 19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the middle thereof: and after that he will let you go.
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).

“Now the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord’” (Exodus 10:1-2 Exodus 10:1-2 1 And the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him: 2 And that you may tell in the ears of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have worked in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know how that I am the LORD.
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).

Yes, and He did all that He promised to do! He crushed the mighty power of Egypt, liberated the Israelites and led them out of Egypt. He provided for the Israelites in a desolate wilderness for 40 years and then helped them conquer the land of Canaan. These were incredibly miraculous and spectacular events foretold ahead of time!

The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua are largely devoted to these events, and they are referred to frequently throughout the Bible. Exactly according to His purpose and plan, God used innumerable miracles to show that great national and military prowess is nothing compared to His supreme power.

Did God foretell that the kingdom of Israel would be conquered and its people deported because of their sins?

“For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden images, provoking the Lord to anger. And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin” (1 Kings 14:15-16 1 Kings 14:15-16 15 For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger. 16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.
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).

After Solomon’s death, the northern 10 tribes of Israel broke away from Judah to form the kingdom of Israel (Judah along with Benjamin constituting the southern kingdom of Judah). Israel’s king Jeroboam led the new nation away from God’s laws into idolatry. Therefore God inspired the prophet Ahijah to foretell that God would “uproot Israel” and scatter its people “beyond the River,” that is, the Euphrates to the northeast. Rising in power beyond it was Assyria, which would be God’s instrument for punishing Israel.

God “testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, ‘Turn from your evil ways’” (2 Kings 17:13 2 Kings 17:13Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn you from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
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). After God’s prophets warned Israel for about 200 years, the king of Assyria besieged Israel’s capital city of Samaria for three years, conquered it in 722 B.C. and “carried Israel away to Assyria,” where its people were scattered among other nations (2 Kings 17:5-7 2 Kings 17:5-7 5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
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, 23).

Most of the world today considers the Israelites carried away captive and their descendants “the Lost Ten Tribes.” Yet they are not truly “lost,” as you can learn from our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy .

Did God foretell that the kingdom of Judah would be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and carried into captivity in Babylon for 70 years because of their sins, but that then they would be freed to return to their homeland?

“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says the Lord, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations.

“‘Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

“‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation’” (Jeremiah 25:8-12 Jeremiah 25:8-12 8 Therefore thus said the LORD of hosts; Because you have not heard my words, 9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, said the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. 10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. 11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, said the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
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).

“For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10 Jeremiah 29:10For thus said the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
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).

These amazingly specific prophecies were indeed fulfilled precisely. For more than 300 years, God sent prophets to warn the kingdom of Judah about her sins, but those warnings were mostly ignored. The 70-year span refers to multiple things: a 70-year duration of the Babylonian Empire, a 70-year captivity of Judah before some returned and a 70-year period without a functioning temple in Jerusalem. These are not all the same 70 years, but they greatly overlap. (To learn more, search for “Seventy Years; Judgment on the Nations ”.)

The fall of Babylon will be addressed by the last question in this lesson. The proclamation that freed the Jewish captives is described in 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: 21 To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years. 22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 23 Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has the LORD God of heaven given me; and he has charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.
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.

Did God use a dream of Nebuchadnezzar to foretell four successive great empires, followed by the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth?

“This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.

“But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.

“Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure” (Daniel 2:36-45 Daniel 2:36-45 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold. 39 And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not join one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
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).

You can read the entire second chapter of Daniel to get the full context. God inspired Daniel to correctly interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about a great human-shaped image made up of different metals. Daniel told the king “you are this head of gold” (Daniel 2:38 Daniel 2:38And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.
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), so Babylon was the first empire in the sequence.

Then during the reign of the Babylonian King Belshazzar, Daniel had a vision that revealed that the next two world-ruling empires would be the kingdom of “Media and Persia” and then the kingdom of “Greece,” which would split into four divisions (Daniel 8:1-8 Daniel 8:1-8 1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. 3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. 5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran to him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and broke his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped on him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
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; Daniel 8:20-22 Daniel 8:20-22 20 The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
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).

The next great empire in history to follow these was the Roman Empire with its successive revivals. Most Bible scholars agree with this interpretation of the four parts of the image, as a comparison with history makes it rather obvious.

The really exciting part of the prophecy is that all these human kingdoms will be replaced someday when “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44-45 Daniel 2:44-45 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
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). It’s awesome that in this one chapter God gave an outline of the next 2,500 plus years down to the second coming of Christ to establish God’s Kingdom!

Did God foretell about 150 years in advance who by name would conquer Babylon, set the Jewish captives free and even enable them to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple?

“… Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’ to the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ and I will raise up her waste places; who says to the deep, ‘Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers’; who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid”’” (Isaiah 44:26-28 Isaiah 44:26-28 26 That confirms the word of his servant, and performes the counsel of his messengers; that said to Jerusalem, You shall be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: 27 That said to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers: 28 That said of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.
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).

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.

“‘For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other …’” (Isaiah 45:1-6 Isaiah 45:1-6 1 Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 2 I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called you by your name: I have surnamed you, though you have not known me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
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).

“‘I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward,’ says the Lord of hosts” Isaiah 45:13 Isaiah 45:13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, said the LORD of hosts.
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).

Isaiah records God foretelling the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple before they were even destroyed! He foretold the freeing of the Jewish captives before they were taken into captivity! He foretold the name of Cyrus long before he was even born!

God even said, “I will dry up your rivers” (Isaiah 44:27 Isaiah 44:27That said to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:
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), a prophecy of Cyrus’ strategy—to divert the waters of the Euphrates so his soldiers could wade up the riverbed into the city of Babylon to capture it. God even foretold that someone would unlock the “double doors” or “gates” facing the river on that night (45:1). Part of the fulfillment of God’s prophecies was Cyrus’ proclamation to rebuild God’s temple (see Ezra 1:1-4 Ezra 1:1-4 1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever remains in any place where he sojournes, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
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). To learn more, search for “Prophecy of Cyrus—Past and Future Fulfillment ”.

The theme of chapters 40 through 48 of Isaiah is that foretelling the future is a major proof of God’s unique and supreme power. The detailed prophecies regarding Cyrus show how God has absolute dominion over His creation! God sums this up well in the prophecy of Cyrus in Isaiah 46:11 Isaiah 46:11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes my counsel from a far country: yes, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
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(which also speaks in a dual sense of the future coming of Christ): “Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”

Apply Now

Write down three spiritual lessons you learned from these prophecies and their fulfillments. As a result, this lesson will have an even deeper effect on you and will be a more lasting blessing for your life. We also encourage you to read our free study guide Is The Bible True? You can download or request it at ucg.org/booklets .