Born April 20, 1718 Died October 9, 1747) Age 29 David Brainerd was an American missionary to the Native Americans who had a particularly fruitful ministry among the Delaware tribes of New Jersey. During his short life he suffered many difficulties. As a result, his biography has become a source of inspiration and encouragement to many Christians. Missionaries such as William Carey and Jim Elliot, and Brainerd’s the Second Great Awakening evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801–1829) have been motivated by the ministry of David Brainerd.
David Brainerd’s life mission: Traveled 15,000 miles on horseback to share the gospel with Native Americans in the New Jersey Area a 4 yr mission.
1737 – Prepares for Yale university Age 19
1739 – Accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and begins to attend Yale University
1740 – Becomes ill and is forced to leave for recovery. Great awakening comes to the New England Area.
1740 – Fall Brainerd returns to Yale where George Whitfield, one of the Stimulators of the 1st great awakening preaches. Brainerd is filled with the Holy Spirit.
1742 – Brainerd is expelled from Yale for making spiritual criticisms of his tutor. The students of the School were embracing a move of God while the faculty were not. This created a rift between tutors and students.
1742 – Attempt to be reinstated to Yale was denied. Brainerd was presuaded to devote himself to missionary work among Native Americans.
1743 – 1746 Brainerd’s missionary work to the Native Americans.
A Fundamental belief
Intercession, prayer and fasting were the fuel of Revival and effective ministry. Preaching does very little, preaching birthed from prayer produces power on the listener.
Quotes on Prayer
“Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge.”
Acts 6:4 …and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Colossians 4:2-3Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
“When you cease from labor, fill up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer: and while your hands are laboring, let your heart be employed, as much as possible, in divine thoughts.”
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
“In prayer I was exceedingly enlarged, and my soul was as much drawn out as I ever remember it to have been in my life. I was in such anguish, and pleaded with so much earnestness and importunity, that when I rose from my knees I felt extremely weak and overcome; I could scarce walk straight; my joints were loosed; the sweat ran down my face and body; and nature seemed as if it would dissolve.”
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Phillipians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
“Spent much time in prayer this morning, and enjoyed much sweetness. Felt insatiable longing after God much of the day. I wondered how poor souls do live that have no God. The world with all its enjoyment quite vanished. I see myself very helpless, but I have a blessed God to go to. I long exceedingly to be dissolved and to be with Christ, to behold His glory. Oh, my weak, weary soul longs to arrive at my Father’s house!”
Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 18:19He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
“Lord, let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.”
“Oh! one hour with God infinitely exceeds all the pleasures and delights of this lower world.”
“I longed to be a flame of fire continually glowing in the divine service and building up of Christ’s kingdom to my last and dying breath.”
“Whatever else you fail of, do not fail of the influence of the Holy Spirit; that is the only way you can handle the consciences of men.”
Johnathan Edwards who is considered the simulator of the revival known as the the 1st Great Awakening says this about David Brainerd
“Find preachers of David Brainerd’s spirit, and nothing can stand before them. Let us be followers of him, as he was of Christ, in absolute self-devotion, in total deadness to the world, and in fervent love to God and man.”
Jonathan Edwards on Brainerd’s Life
“a remarkable instance of true and eminent piety(reverence), in heart and practice.”
1743-1744 The first 2 years of David’s ministry were mostly barren. David used an unbeliever that was a reported drunk as his interpreter for the Native Americans. His name was Tattamy. Tattamy and his wife were his first converts of David’s converts. David was widely accepted by Native Americans but they did not immediately accept the Gospel. David suffered many setbacks and hardships, yet continued to press into prayer and fasting.
August 8 1745 the power of God came down on his little group of 65 as he preached in Crossweeksung. The sudden and unexpected power of God that moved on this tribe was followed by earnest prayers. Many genuine conversions took place. News traveled, and soon other Native Americans were coming to hear the young preacher. Members of the white community began to show up also, and get converted. On August 25, he baptized 25 of the Native Americans and the years of prayer and fasting were beginning to bear some fruit.
When David preached a sermon among the people, the entire tribe would fall down on their faces and weep for hours because they were concerned that they had never known about their great sin towards the Lord before. They discovered fierce longings in their souls for Christ, to save them from the misery they felt and feared. The Spirit of God was at work in awakening the native’s hearts and calling them out of their sin and shame while revealing His great love for them.
“In the afternoon, they were returned to the place where I had usually preached among them, I again discoursed to them there. There were about fifty-five persons in all, about forty that were capable of attending divine service with understanding. I insisted upon 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love.” They seemed eager of hearing; but there appeared nothing very remarkable, except their attention, till near the close of my discourse; and then divine truths were attended with a surprising influence, and produced a great concern among them. There was scarce three in forty that could refrain from tears and bitter cries. They all, as one, seemed in an agony of soul to obtain an interest in Christ; and the more I discoursed of the love and compassion of God in sending his Son to suffer for the sins of men, and the more I invited them to come and partake of his love, the more their distress was aggravated, because they felt themselves unable to come. It was surprising to see how their hearts seemed to be pierced with the tender and melting invitations of the gospel when there was not a word of terror spoken to them.”
David Brainerd’s Legacy
“As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having: but oh, how vain and unworthy it is, to live for any lower end!”
David had an unwavering commitment to his assignment and did not allow a small impact or obstacles deviate him from his mission.
1747- David Brainerd dies of tuberculosis in the Care of Jonathan Edwards. At that time Edwards convinces David that his journal should be published for all to read. David’s memoirs would inspire generations to come to live a life fully abandoned to God. A life that carries the heart of revival.
1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.
The third year of Belshazzar is 539BC
The vision is to make known a future event. Daniel was the recipient of the vision.
2 And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal.
Susa is approximately 290 miles east of Babylon. Located in modern day Iran. Daniel was either in Susa during the vision or he was translated there in the vision. The Modern city is called Shush. There are claims that this is where Daniel is buried in “The Tomb of Daniel”.
Susa is captured just before Babylon by the Persians and is the capital of the Persian empire.
The Story of Esther will take place in Susa approximately 60yrs after Daniels vision.
A citedal is a fortress. Typically the most fortified part of a city. Either the entire city is considered a citedal (high place) or the city has a citedal which Daniel is in that would be in close proximity to the Ulai River.
The Ulai River is east of the city of Susa. The modern name for this river is Karkheh River. At the time of the vision it is likely that a canal diverted the river through the city.
Daniel sees the vision in Susa because the Ulai river is the boarder of the Elam Kingdom. Daniel will see the vision of the defeat of the Persian kingdoms capitol on the Persian kingdoms boarder.
3 I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.
Daniel lifted his head to see the vision
The Ram with the 2 horns represents the Medes and Persians who would defeat the Babylonians in 539 BC at King Cyrus hand.
The Horns were both high because they were both powerful. But one was more powerful than the other. The smaller horn represents the Medes and the larger horn represents the Persians. The Persian kingdom was a collection of kingdoms defeated by Cyrus that pledged their allegiance to him including King Darius of Media.
4 I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
The Media and Persian army, also know as the Achaemenid empire conquered ancient Mesopotamia as far east a Lybia in Africa and Macedon just beyond turkey from Media Persia.
The Achaemenid empire swept from the east through Mesopotamia defeating all other kingdoms to the west.
“No Beast” The Kingdoms the ram conquers are considered beasts in the vision. Daniel 7, Revelation 12, 13, 17
The Achaemenid empire lasted approximately 200 yrs. The empire started with King Cyrus and ended under Darius III. 539BC – 330 BC
5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.
Daniel was considering and beholding. to consider means to inspect the vision and information intently.
After the Achaemenid sweeps across mesopotamia from the east. Alexander the Great will sweep across from the west.
Without touching the ground is an indication of how quickly Alexander conquered ancient Mesopotamia. 10yrs 334BC – 323BC
The Goat had a single horn. Yet this single horn was more powerful than the 2 horns on the ram.
6 He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath.
Alexander and his armies were more powerful than the Persians.
7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power.
There is no King or Kingdom with the wisdom or power to rescue other Kingdoms and peoples than Jesus. Jesus is the only King capable of rescuing a defeated people.
8 Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
9 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.
11 It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.
12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?”
14 And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”
18 And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up.
19 He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end.
20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.
22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.
24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints.
25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.
26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
27 And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
1. We can’t ask for the removal of the virus without asking the Lord what what he wants to say about it and through it. This is going to require a conversation with the Lord that cannot include a Jeremiah 23 or Ezekiel 13 presumption of the people. Prophetic bravado is being exposed for its shallow impact and it’s low level encouragement.
2. What is our motive in prayer? Do we want the virus to dissipate so we can go back to life as usual? I believe the Lord is asking for a great change in the Church. When society acclimates after the intensity is over the Church needs to be watchful. He is waking us up, we can’t go back to sleep.
3. Sermon on the Mount lifestyle is critical right now. Jesus is wanting us to be compatible with the Kingdom. A people with clear voices, that exhorts society to holiness. The authority of these words have to be backed up with a foundation of exemplary life choices. This is the hour the Lord is asking us to break our agreement with criticism, retaliation and low level bitterness.
4. Jesus exhortation to get oil in Matthew 25 is a call for believers to refocus on Matthew 6 lifestyles of prayer and fasting. We are stuck in our homes right now for a reason. I believe it is so that we will.
” go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
5. This is an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with our children and spouses. Life has a way of keeping us busier than we would like to admit. We have an opportunity to focus on our families and ask the Lord what he wants to do, what he wants to change about our lifestyles and schedules. When life goes back to “normal” will we honor the commitments we make in this season?
6. Honor our fathers and mothers. Exodus 20:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Ephesians 6:2-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Matthew 10:21New Living Translation “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.
“…This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these
nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the
seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his
nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the
Lord, “and will make it desolate forever” (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
Babylon took Israel Captive specifically Jerusalem on 3 sieges. The final siege in 586 BC. The time from the first siege to their release from Babylon was 70yrs.
Babylon’s Gates Will Open for Cyrus
Isaiah 45:1 written 701 to 681 BC Fulfilled – 539 BC. (142 yrs?)
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut…”
Cyrus defeats Babylon in 539 BC by rerouting the Euphrates river to cross it and conquering the city.
Isaiah 14:23 Written – 701 to 681 BC Fulfilled – 539 BC. (142 yrs?)
“‘I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will
sweep her with the broom of destruction,’ declares the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 14:23).
Babylon being situated in a marshy ground, and by the river Euphrates; and when that river was turned by Cyrus , and afterwards its banks neglected, in course of time the water overflowed the place where the city was, and all about it, and so easily came to be what is here predicted it should.
“You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon’; but this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety”
The city of Jerusalem; as they were at the end of the seventy years’ captivity; and when the promise was fulfilled, that they should purchase and possess fields and vineyards; and as they will likewise at the time of their conversion in the latter day.
Once again, in Nahum 3:15 (written around 614 BC) the prophet makes a prediction which ultimately did come true.
“There the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down and, like grasshoppers, consume you…” (Nahum 3:15).
The prophet said that Nineveh would be damaged by fire. Archaeologists
unearthed the site during the 1800s and found a layer of ash covering
the ruins. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “…Nineveh
suffered a defeat from which it never recovered. Extensive traces of
ash, representing the sack of the city by Babylonians, Scythians, and
Medes in 612 BC, have been found in many parts of the Acropolis. After
612 BC the city ceased to be important…”
Tyre Will Be Attacked By Many Nations
In Ezekiel 26:3 (written between 587-586 BC) the prophet predicts the attacks on Tyre that occurred in 573 BC, 332 BC, and 1291 AD.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O
Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up
its waves” (Ezekiel 26:3).
The prophet said that Tyre, the Phoenician Empire’s most powerful city,
would be attacked by many nations, because of its treatment of Israel.
At about the time that Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, Babylon had
begun a 13 year attack on Tyre’s mainland. Later, in about 332 BC,
Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre and brought an end to
the Phoenician Empire. Then, after that, Tyre later fell again under the
rule of the Romans, the Crusaders and the Moslems, who destroyed the
city yet again, in 1291.
Tyre’s Stones, Timber and Soil Will Be Cast Into the Sea</h2
In a remarkable prediction, the prophet writes in Ezekiel 26:12
(written between 587-586 BC) that the stone, timber and soil of Tyre
will be thrown into the sea. This was fulfilled in 333-332 BC.
“They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will
break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your
stones, timber and rubble into the sea” (Ezekiel 26:12).
The prophet said that Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be thrown
into the sea. That’s probably a fitting description of how Alexander the
Great built a land bridge from the mainland to the island of Tyre when
he attacked in 333-332 BC. It is believed that he took the rubble from
Tyre’s mainland ruins and tossed it – stones, timber and soil – into the
sea, to build the land bridge (which is still there).
In Ezekiel 25:14
(written between 593-571 BC), the prophet predicts that the Jews will
eventually have revenge against the Edomites. This was not fulfilled,
however for over 400 years (until approximately 100 BC)
“I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and
they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they
will know my vengeance’, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 25:14).
Ezekiel said that the Jews would one day take vengeance on Edom, a
nation that had often warred with the Jews. When Ezekiel delivered this
prophecy, he and many other Jews were living as captives in Babylon.
They didn’t have control of their own country, let alone anyone else’s.
But, about 400 years later, Jews regained independence for Jerusalem and
the surrounding area during the “Hasmonaean Period.” During this time,
the Jewish priest-king John Hyrcanus I defeated the Edomites. According
to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: “Edomite history was marked
by continuous hostility and warfare with Jews… At the end of the second
century B.C., they were subdued by Hasmonaean priest-king John Hyrcanus
Edom Will Be Toppled and Humbled
In Jeremiah 49:16
(written sometime from 626 to about 586 BC) the prophet predicts that
Edom will be toppled. This was fulfilled in approximately 100 BC:
“‘The terror you inspire and the
pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the
rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest
as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the
Lord” (Jeremiah 49:16).
Jeremiah said that Edom, a long-time enemy of Israel, would be
destroyed. Edom’s capital city, Petra, was carved out of a mountain side
and had great natural defenses. Nonetheless, it was destroyed and the
kingdom of Edom no longer exists. Today, Petra is part of Jordan. The
city was conquered by the Romans in the year 106 AD but flourished again
shortly after that. But a rival city, Palmyra, eventually took most of
the trade away and Petra began to decline. Moslems conquered Petra in
the 7th Century and Crusaders conquered it in the 12th Century. Petra
gradually fell into ruin.
The Greatest Old Testament Prophecy of All
There are literally hundreds of other fulfilled prophecies that we
could describe here, but clearly one stand head and shoulders above the
rest, and we really need to take a minute to describe it. While the Jews
were certainly comforted by prophecies that predicted that their
enemies would eventually be destroyed, there was a far more comforting
prophecy that had been described in the Old Testament. It was a prophecy
that predicted the coming of a Messiah, a savior who would deliver the
Jews. While there we dozens of messianic prophecies in the Old Testament
Scriptures, one of these was incredibly specific in its claims. As we
examine this prophecy, we can confirm the supernatural and divine
inspiration of the Bible.
The Coming of the Messiah
In 538 B.C. Daniel wrote the following bold prediction:
“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to
restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be
seven weeks of years and sixty-two weeks of years” (Daniel 9:25).
In this prophecy, Daniel is claiming that there will be 69 weeks of
years between the issuing of a decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the
appearance of the Messiah. Now keep in mind that this bold prediction
came 538 years before Christ was born.
Now let’s investigate a little history, OK? In 464 BC, Artaxerxes, a
Persian king, ascended to the throne. His twentieth year as king would
be 464 BC. Nehemiah, the Jewish cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, was deeply
concerned with the reports about the ruined condition of Jerusalem
which came about as the result of their being defeated (Nehemiah 1:1-4) and as a result, he petitioned the king:
“Send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it. So it pleased the king to send me” (Nehemiah 2:5-6).
Scripture then provides us with the exact date of this decree to
restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. According to the Scriptures the decree
is issued “in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the
king” (Nehemiah 2:1).
The Jewish calendar month was Nisan, and since no day is given, it is
reasonable to assume that the date would be understood as the first, the
Jewish New Year’s Day. And, in the Julian calendar we presently use,
the corresponding date would be March 5, 444 B.C. This was the day on
which the decree was issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
Now let’s remember this date, March 5, 444 B.C. and take a look at the
appearance of the Messiah. You may recall that the Gospels tell us that
Jesus, on numerous occasions, had forbidden his followers to make him
known as “the Messiah”. He would frequently do miracles and tell the
disciples not to tell anyone who had done the miracles because his “hour
has not yet come” (John 2:4,
7:6). However, on March 30, 33 A.D., when he entered Jerusalem on a
donkey, he rebuked the Pharisees’ protest and encouraged the whole
multitude of his disciples as they shouted, “Blessed is the King who
comes in the name of the Lord”. And Jesus said, “If these become silent,
the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:38-40). This was the day on which Jesus was publicly declared the Messiah.
Now let’s compare the date of the decree (March 5, 444 BC) with the
date of Jesus’ declaration (March 30, 33 AD). Now before we begin, we
need to clarify the fact that the Jewish prophetic year was composed of
twelve 30 day months. In other words, the ancient evidence indicates
that the Jewish prophetic year had 360 days, not 365 days. Since Daniel
states 69 weeks of seven years each, and each year has 360 days, the
equation is as follows: 69 x 7 x 360 = 173,880 days. In nothing more
than a simple mathematical demonstration, the number of days in the
period from March 5, 444 B.C. (the twentieth year of Artaxerxes) to
March 30, 33 A.D. (the day Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey) can be
determined at this point.
The time span from 444 B.C. to 33 A.D. is 476 years (remember that 1
B.C. to 1 A.D. is only one year). And if we multiply 476 years x
365.2421879 days per year (corrected for leap years), we get the result
of 173,855 days. Now let’s add back the difference between March 5 and
March 30 (25 days). What is our total? You guessed it, 173,880 days,
exactly as Daniel predicted it.
Isaiah foreshadowed the virgin birth of Jesus
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 7:14 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah addresses the “house of
David,” meaning the family and descendants of King David, and speaks of a
virgin being pregnant with a child, and giving birth to the child.
Isaiah says this in the context of it being a sign from God. He also
says that the child would be referred to as “Immanuel,” which means,
“God with us.”
scholars have challenged this interpretation. They say that the Hebrew
word “almah,” which is the word that Christian Bibles often translate as
“virgin,” actually means “young maiden” or “young woman.” It should be
noted that the Old Testament uses the word to refer to young, unmarried
women, and that unmarried women were culturally and religiously expected
to be virgins. One example can be found in Genesis 24:43, where it
speaks of a person being sought as a bride for Isaac.
Isaiah 7:14 (NIV):
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will
be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
Bible prophecy: Micah 5:1-2 Prophecy written: Sometime between 750-686 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that reveals that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.
As pointed out in the book, 100 Prophecies, by George Konig and
Ray Konig: “The prophecy is effective in a simple way: It eliminates all
other cities and towns throughout the world as a place in which the
Messiah could be born. It narrows the possibilities to one tiny village
just south of Jerusalem.”
And throughout the span of the past 27 centuries, from the days
of the prophet Micah up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited
as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known
throughout the world. And that person is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke name the town of
Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Matthew 2:1-6 describes the birth
of Jesus as the fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy.
In recent years, however, some non-believers have attempted to
discredit Matthew’s interpretation of Micah 5:2 by claiming that the
prophecy refers to a person named Bethlehem, not a town name Bethlehem.
This claim has been widely circulated on the Internet by a college
professor who describes himself as a former Christian minister.
The first problem with this claim appears in Micah 5:1. In that
verse, the prophet establishes that he is speaking of Bethlehem the
town, not Bethlehem the person, by setting up a context in which he
contrasts the great city of Jerusalem with the humble town of Bethlehem.
A second problem with the claim is that there is also evidence
outside of the Bible that shows that Micah 5:2 was regarded as a
Messianic prophecy involving the town of Bethlehem. Here is an excerpt
from the Jerusalem Talmud, which is a collection of Judaism-related
writings completed about 1600 years ago:
“The King Messiah… from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Judah.” – Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a.
Micah 5:1-2 (NIV):
1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid
against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the
clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over
Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah
Bible prophecy: Genesis 49:10 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Genesis 49:10, Jacob is blessing his 12 sons. This blessing
was also a prophecy. Jacob told his son Judah that his descendants would
be rulers and that one of his descendants will be an ultimate ruler.
According to the NIV translation: “The scepter will not depart from
Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to
whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” Christians
acknowledge that this is a reference to Jesus Christ, whose kingdom will
have no end. Jesus was born about 2000 years after Jacob died. Jesus’
ancestry is traced back to Jacob’s son, Judah, in Luke 3:23-34 and in
Matthew 1:1-16. Today, there are some estimates that claim that there
are as many as 2 billion Christians worldwide who follow the teachings
Genesis 49:10 (NIV):
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff
from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the
obedience of the nations is his.
Nations would seek the counsel of Jesse’s descendant
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 11:1-10 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: By the birth of Jesus about 2000 years ago
In Isaiah 11:1-10, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would
be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel’s
great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true
faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great
that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another.
This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the
world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the
This is an important prophecy for Christians because we believe
that Jesus is the fulfillment of this Old Testament promise. Jesus, as
explained in the New Testament, is a descendant of Jesse. And Jesus has
become a standard for peoples throughout the world. In fact,
Christianity is the first religion to spread to every country in the
world. The words of Jesus, which speak of true justice, true faith and
true peace, have been taught to people in every country in the world. We
Christians also believe that Jesus will return in the future to
establish a kingdom on earth, a kingdom of justice and righteousness.
There is an ancient Hebrew text, called the Targum Jonathan, in
which Rabbis sought to interpret passages of the Old Testament
scriptures. The Targum Jonathan shows that at least some of the ancient
Rabbis believed that the message contained in Isaiah 11:1-10 was a
reference to a Messiah. Here is an excerpt from the Targum Jonathan:
“And there shall go forth a King from the Sons of Jesse, and the Messiah
shall be anointed from his children’s children.” Jesse was the father
of King David. But the Messiah would be a descendant of Jesse,
specifically through his son David.
Isaiah 11:1-10 (NIV):
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom
and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of
knowledge and of the fear of the LORD–
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he
will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth
with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down
with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a
little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for
the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the
peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be
NIV Footnote:  Hebrew; Septuagint lion will feed
The Messiah would be a descendant of King David
Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5 Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: By the birth of Jesus about 2000 years ago
In Jeremiah 23:5, as well as in other Bible prophecies, we are told that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David.
The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke trace back Jesus’
genealogy to King David. (Some scholars believe that the genealogy in
Matthew is Jesus’ legal line, through his adoptive father, Joseph, and
that the genealogy in Luke is Jesus’ bloodline through Mary).
Jeremiah 23:5 (NIV):
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 40:1-5,9 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 27 AD
Isaiah 40:3, the prophet writes about a person in the desert who
prepares the way for the Lord. This prophecy foreshadowed the life of
John the Baptist, who played an important role in preparing the
groundwork for the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born shortly
after John the Baptist about 2000 years ago. The book of Matthew records
many events of the life of Jesus and of John the Baptist. In Matthew
3:1-2, it says: “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the
Desert of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Isaiah 40:1-5,9 (NIV):
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard
service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has
received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made
low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
9 . . . say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
He would perform miracles
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 35:4-6 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 27-31 AD
Isaiah, who lived about 2700 years ago, prophesied that there
would come a time when God would arrive and heal the eyes of the blind,
the ears of the deaf, the mobility of the lame, and the voice of the
Jesus did each of these things in a spiritual sense, in offering
truth and salvation, and in a literal sense by performing miracles of
The web site at About-Jesus.org provides details about 34 miracles performed by Jesus.
Isaiah 35:4-6 (NIV):
4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your
God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he
will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout
for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the
Isaiah foreshadows the ministry of Jesus
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 61:1-2 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 27-31 AD
In Isaiah 61, there are passages that speak of an anointed one
who preaches the good news to the poor, frees the people who are
imprisoned, heals the blind and releases the oppressed. About 700 years
after the time of Isaiah, Jesus relates these Bible passages to Himself:
Luke 4:14-21 (NIV translation):
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the
Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood
up to read.
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for
the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant
and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on
21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
At this point during the ministry of Jesus, he had already been
preaching the good news to the poor and he had already healed many
people of various afflictions, including blindness, both in a physical
sense and in a spiritual sense.
But Jesus had not yet begun the other part of his mission, which
includes a “day of vengeance,” which Bible scholar John Gill explains as
“the day of vengeance of our God; when vengeance was taken on sin, in
the person of Christ; when he destroyed the works of the devil, … and
who will take vengeance on antichrist at his spiritual coming, and upon
all the wicked at the day of judgment.”
With this in mind, it is interesting that Jesus stopped reading
Isaiah 61 mid way through verse 2, immediately before the mention of a
“day of vengeance.”
Isaiah 61:1-2 (NIV):
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has
anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up
the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from
darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
NIV Footnote:  Instead of “prisoners,” the Greek Septuagint renders the word as “blind.”
God promised another prophet like Moses
Bible prophecy: Deuteronomy 18:15-18 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC to 31 AD
In Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Moses told the Jews that God would raise
up another prophet like Moses. After Moses, there was a succession of
prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and finally Jesus
Christ. Jesus was very much like Moses. Both were delivered from death
as infants. Both were prophets. Both performed miracles. Both were
leaders. And both were intermediaries between God and man. Moses offered
to die, if necessary, if God would forgive the sins of the people that
Moses was leading (see Exodus 32:30-33). Jesus did die for our sins, so
that people could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. No other prophet is as
much like Moses than Jesus.
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 (NIV):
15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on
the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the
LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their
brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them
everything I command him.
The Messiah would enter Jerusalem while riding on a donkey
Bible prophecy: Zechariah 9:9 Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Zechariah 9:9, the prophet speaks of a future king presenting
himself to Jerusalem while riding on a humble donkey. This foreshadowed
something that happened about 500 years later. As explained in Luke
19:35-37, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and presented himself as
the Messiah, the King.
Alfred Edersheim, a Christian Jew who lived during the 1800s,
studied ancient Rabbinical writings, and said that Zechariah 9:9 was
often interpreted as being about a Messiah. In his book, The Life and
Times of Jesus the Messiah, Edersheim wrote: “The Messianic application
of this verse in all its parts has already been repeatedly indicated. We
may here add that there are many traditions about this donkey on which
the Messiah is to ride; and so firm was the belief in it, that,
according to the Talmud, ‘if anyone saw a donkey in his dreams, he will
see salvation’ (Ber 56 b).”
The name “Jesus,” means “salvation” in Hebrew.
Zechariah 9:9 (NIV):
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of
Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Jesus proclaims that he is the Messiah
Bible prophecy: John 4:19-26 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Since the time of Jesus
In Matthew 5:17, John 4:25-26, and in other verses, Jesus
proclaims that he was the Messiah promised by the Old Testament
prophets. Jesus remains the first and only person in history to be taken
seriously by people throughout the world as being the Messiah that so
many of the Bible’s prophets had prophesied about.
John 4:19-26 (NIV):
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you
will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of
worshipers the Father seeks.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
There would be a son called God
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 9:6-7 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Isaiah 9:6-7, which was written about 700 years before the
time of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a son who would be called
“Mighty God” and “Eternal Father.” Isaiah also indicates that this son
would reign on the throne of King David and that this reign would be
everlasting. King David is the great, God-obeying king who reigned from
about 1050 BC to about 1010 BC. God had promised King David that the
reign from David’s throne would be everlasting. Christians acknowledge
that this promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is a descendant of
King David, and whose reign is everlasting. Today, the teachings of
Jesus govern the lives of as many as an estimated 2 billion Christians
worldwide. The New Testament also says that Jesus will return in the
future and that his kingdom will have no end.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV):
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the
government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful
Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no
end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing
and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and
forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
The Messiah would be rejected
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:1-3 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the prophet foreshadowed the life and
mission of Jesus, who was born about 700 years later. In Isaiah 53:3,
the prophet said that a servant of God would be rejected and despised.
Jesus was indeed rejected by many people living in the land of Israel,
and He was later crucified by the Romans.
It has been claimed by some commentators that Isaiah 52:13-53:12
actually refers to Israel as a nation and not to an individual Messiah.
But, there are several commentaries written by rabbis that confirm that
the prophecy refers to a Messiah and not to a nation. Several examples
of these writings are listed in the book, The Fifty-Third Chapter of
Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, edited by S.R. Driver and
A.D. Neubauer. Here are two examples from that book:
“Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the
prophet is speaking of the King Messiah, and we shall ourselves also
adhere to the same view.” – Rabbi Moshe Alshekh, 16th century.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our
iniquities, the meaning of which is that since the Messiah bears our
iniquities which produce the effect of his being bruised, it follows
that whoso will not admit that the Messiah thus suffers for our
iniquities, must endure and suffer for them himself.” – Rabbi Eliyyah de
Vidas, who wrote during the 16th century.
Isaiah 53:1-3 (NIV):
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out
of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing
in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and
familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was
despised, and we esteemed him not.
Daniel predicted when an anointed one would be rejected
Bible prophecy: Daniel 9:24-26 Prophecy written: About 530 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
The prophet Daniel was Jewish exile who lived during the time of
the Babylonian Captivity, about 500 years before the birth of Jesus.
During Daniel’s lifetime, the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and
the Temple and had taken many Jews as captives to Babylon. Daniel, while
in Babylon, delivered a prophecy of what would happen during the
centuries that followed. Here is our summary of Daniel 9:24-26:
1. There would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
2. Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt.
3. Then an anointed one (Messiah) would be “cut off” (an idiom for “rejected” or “killed”).
4. Then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed again.
All of these events later happened, in the same order in which they are described in Daniel 9:24-26:
1. After the Medo-Persians had conquered the neo-Babylonian
empire about 2500 years ago, they ruled a vast empire that included the
land of Israel. About 2400 years ago (about 445 BC), Persian king
Artaxerxes gave permission to the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem, which was
still in ruins after having been destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.
2. The Jews rebuilt the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
3. Then, about 2000 years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the
Messiah who had been promised by Old Testament prophets. But, many
people rejected Jesus as the Messiah and he was crucified by the Romans.
4. About 40 years after Jesus was crucified, the Romans destroyed
Jerusalem and the Temple. (The Temple has not been rebuilt since then).
Daniel 9:24-26 (NIV):
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy
city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and
prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to
restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes,
there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt
with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
Jesus was betrayed by a friend
Bible prophecy: Psalm 41:9 Prophecy written: About 1000 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Psalm 41:9, King David wrote a prayer asking for mercy in his
last days. In this prayer, which Christians acknowledge as being
inspired by God, David wrote about a betrayal at the hand of a close
friend with whom he had shared bread. This foreshadowed something that
happened years later with Jesus. As explained in Matthew 26:47-50, Jesus
was betrayed by Judas, one of the 12 apostles, shortly after Jesus and
the apostles had shared bread during the Last Supper. Jesus was
crucified by the Romans a short time later.
Psalm 41:9 (NIV):
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Zechariah foreshadowed the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver
Bible prophecy: Zechariah 11:12-13 Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”-the handsome
price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver
and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.
Jesus was spat upon and beaten
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Isaiah 50:6, the prophet writes about a servant of God who
endures abuse at the hands of sinful people. This servant offers his
back to those who beat him, his face to those who rip out his beard, and
himself to those who mock and taunt him. Christians historically have
acknowledged this Old Testament prophecy as being fulfilled by Jesus
Christ, who lived about 700 years after Isaiah. Jesus, as explained in
the New Testament, was beaten, mocked and taunted shortly before his
crucifixion by the Romans. In Matthew 26:67 (NIV translation), for
example, it says: Then they spit in his face and struck him with their
fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit
Isaiah 50:6 (NIV):
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who
pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
God’s servant would be silent before his accusers
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, Isaiah the prophet wrote about
a servant of God. Many people believe that this was a prophecy about
the life of Jesus Christ, who lived after the time of Isaiah. In Isaiah
53:7, the prophet said that the servant would be afflicted and accused,
and that he would remain silent like a lamb being led to slaughter. As
explained in Matthew 27:12-14, which was recorded about 700 years after
the time of Isaiah, this is what happened to Jesus. He was falsely
accused but remained silent and did not protest the accusations. Jesus
was crucified by the Romans a short time later.
Isaiah 53:7 (NIV):
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he
was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her
shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
God’s servant would die for our sins
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:4-6 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Isaiah 53:4-6, prophet described a servant as being punished
for the sins of others, and that others would be healed by the wounds of
this person. As explained in the New Testament – such as in the Gospels
of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – Jesus was crucified for our sins, and
he was sinless. Christians believe that this ultimate sacrifice
redeemed us all from sin in the same way that lambs and other animals
were once sacrificed as a symbolic way of cleansing people from sin. All
of us can be accepted into the Kingdom of God, as though we were
sinless, if we accept Jesus as our savior. Christians believe that we
are healed through the wounds that Jesus suffered.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV):
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet
we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for
our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and
by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to
his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Psalm 22 foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus
Bible prophecy: Psalm 22:1,7,8,16,17,18 Prophecy written: About 1000 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
People are sometimes curious, when they read Matthew 27:46 or
Mark 15:34, why Jesus, while dying on the cross, said “My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?” Those words are actually the first line of
Psalm 22, which according to Jewish tradition was written by King David
about 1,000 years before Jesus was crucified.
Psalm 22 speaks of a man who cries out to God for deliverance
from intense persecution. There are parallels between the details in
Psalm 22 and the details written in the New Testament about Jesus’
crucifixion, such as:
In Psalm 22:7, it speaks of a man surrounded by others who scorn
and despise him. This is what happened to Jesus in Matthew 27:39 and
In Psalm 22:7, it speaks of a man being mocked, which is similar
in the descriptions of Jesus’ crucifixion given in Matthew 27:31, Mark
15:20 and Luke 22:63; 23:36.
In Psalm 22:8, it says, “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD
rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” In Matthew
27:43, Jesus’ enemies taunted him by saying, “He trusts in God. Let God
rescue him now if he wants him.”
In Psalm 22:16, it speaks of a man who was numbered with the
transgressors, meaning an innocent man being regarded as being one of a
group of criminals. Jesus too was numbered with the transgressors when
he was crucified next to two criminals, as described in Matthew 27:38,
Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32 and John 19:18.
In Psalm 22:16, it speaks of a man whose hands and feet are
either pierced, or mauled, or disfigured, depending on which is truly
the best English translation of the original verse. In John 19:23,34,37 –
Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced with nails during the crucifixion
In Psalm 22:17, it speaks of a man who would be surrounded by
others who stared and gloated at him. This too was the situation for
Jesus during the crucifixion, according to Matthew 27:36 and Luke 23:35.
In Psalm 22:18, onlookers gamble for pieces of clothing that
belonged to the person being persecuted. As explained in Matthew 27:35,
Roman soldiers gambled (cast lots) for articles of Jesus’ clothing while
he was being crucified.
There are other descriptions in Psalm 22 that sound like an
accurate description of what would happen to a person being crucified,
such as the disjointing of bones, the drying up of a person’s strength,
an intense sense of thirst, a heart melting like wax (Jesus was stabbed
in the side with a spear during his crucifixion), and being “poured out”
of one’s body. When Jesus was stabbed, blood and water poured out from
Many Christian scholars have written about their views of the
significance of Psalm 22 and the crucifixion of Jesus. The late Charles
Briggs, who had been a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, said
“These sufferings [of Psalm 22] transcend those of any historical
sufferer, with the single exception of Jesus Christ. They find their
exact counterpart in the sufferings of the cross…. This ideal is a
Messianic ideal, and finds its only historical realization in Jesus
Psalm 22:1,7,8,16,17,18 (NIV):
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 “He trusts in the LORD ; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
Zechariah foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus
Bible prophecy: Zechariah 12:10 Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In the Old Testament book of Zechariah, chapter 12, the Bible
said that there would be a time when people in Jerusalem would lament
over the one who was “pierced,” as one mourns for the loss of a
first-born son. (First-born sons were often viewed as the main
inheritors of a family’s legacy). Christians traditionally have
interpreted this passage as a reference to the return of Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, who was pierced when he was crucified by the Romans
about 2000 years ago. Christians believe that Jesus will return in the
future to establish an everlasting kingdom.
The Talmud, which offers Judaism-related commentary about various
Old Testament passages, makes a very Christian-like assessment of the
prophecy found in the book of Zechariah:
“What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well
according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah,
the son of Joseph, as it is written, ‘And they shall look upon me whom
they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his
only son.'” -Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a.
Zechariah 12:10 (NIV):
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of
Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the
one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an
only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn
God’s servant would be “numbered with the transgressors”
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Isaiah 53:12, the prophet wrote about a servant who would bear
the sins of others and be punished side-by-side with criminals.
Christians acknowledge that Isaiah’s description of this servant was a
prophecy that was fulfilled during the life of Jesus Christ. As
explained in the book of Matthew, Jesus, though sinless, was “numbered
with the transgressors” and crucified along with two criminals.
Isaiah 53:12 (NIV):
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will
divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto
death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of
many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
God’s servant would be buried in a rich man’s tomb
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Isaiah 53:9, the prophet Isaiah wrote about a sinless servant
being put to death with the wicked and buried with the rich. About 700
years after this was written, Jesus was put to death along with two
criminals and was buried in a tomb owned by a wealthy man, as explained
in the New Testament. The New Testament also says that Jesus was
resurrected three days later and ascended into Heaven.
Isaiah 53:9 (NIV):
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Counting Abraham’s descendants would be like counting the stars
Bible prophecy: Genesis 15:5 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Throughout history
In Genesis 15:5, the Bible said that Abraham would have many
descendants and that counting them would be like counting the stars. The
fulfillment of this prophecy is obvious. In fact it is so obvious that
it can be easily overlooked:
Abraham is the only person revered by large numbers of people throughout world as being their ancestor.
He is the father of the Jewish people, as explained in the book
of Genesis, through his son Isaac, and through Isaac’s son Israel.
Christians become descendants of Abraham through faith (Galatians
3:29), just as Abraham became the father of many nations through faith
(Genesis chapters 12-17; Romans 4:18).
And many other peoples count themselves as descendants of Abraham, through his son Ishmael.
It also should be noted that the first part of his name, “Ab,”
means “father,” and that his name was changed by God. The reason for the
change is explained in Genesis 17:5, for which the NIV translation is: No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the
stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall
your offspring be.”
Abraham’s descendants would have their own country
Bible prophecy: Genesis 15:18 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 3400 years ago
The Bible’s book of Genesis explains that about 4000 years ago,
the Lord found a man who had strong faith. That man’s name was Abraham.
In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord calls out to Abraham and chooses to reward
him. In Genesis 15:18, the Lord said that Abraham’s descendants would
have their own country, and that this country would be between the river
of Egypt and the Euphrates River. (People sometimes call this the
Genesis also explains that this promise of land to the
descendants of Abraham was inherited by Abraham’s son, Isaac, and then
by Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. Jacob is the father of the 12 Tribes of
This prophecy of nationhood has been fulfilled about 3400 years
ago, the Hebrew descendants of Abraham first established Israel. The
Bible’s book of Joshua explains how Joshua led the Israelites into the
land that had been promised to them, as descendants of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, and established the nation of Israel.
The nation of Israel was later divided into two kingdoms, called
Judah and Israel, about 2900 years ago. The kingdom of Israel lost its
independence when it was conquered by Assyria about 2700 years ago.
Judah lost its independence about 2600 years ago when it was conquered
Then, about 2000 years ago, the Romans scattered the Jews (or Israelites, or Hebrews) throughout the Roman Empire.
Starting in the late 1800s, many Jews from around the world began
returning in large numbers to the land of Israel. In 1948, independence
was declared for a modern state of Israel.
Genesis 15:18 (NIV):
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To
your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the
great river, the Euphrates–
NIV Footnote:  Or Wadi
Jacob’s descendants would inherit the land of Israel
Bible prophecy: Genesis 35:9-12 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 3400 years ago
In Genesis 35:9-12, Jacob is given a prophecy that his
descendants would inherit the land of Israel. Jacob was the grandson of
Abraham and was the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The prophecy was
fulfilled when his descendants claimed the land of Israel as their
country in about 1400 BC (about 3400 years ago).
Israel was later conquered by other nations and the people were
forced into exiled. Many Jews returned during the past two centuries and
re-established independence for a modern state of Israel in 1948.
Genesis 35:9-12 (NIV):
9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him.
10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no
longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. ” So he named him
11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty ; be fruitful and
increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from
you, and kings will come from your body.
12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”
NIV Footnotes:  That is, Northwest Mesopotamia; also in verse 26
 Jacob means he grasps the heel (figuratively, he deceives).
 Israel means he struggles with God.
 Hebrew El-Shaddai
God will never forget the children of Israel
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 49:13-17 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Throughout history
In Isaiah 49:13-17, the Lord makes it clear that even though the
people of Israel are to be exiled from their land, the Lord will never
forget them, and the Lord would eventually bring the exiles back to
Isaiah lived about 2700 years ago. At about that time, the
Assyrians invaded the northern part of the land of Israel and had forced
many of the people into exile. More than a century later, the
Babylonians conquered the southern part of the land of Israel, bringing
an end to sovereignty, destroying Jerusalem and the Temple, and forcing
people into exile.
Despite the hardships, verses 15 and 16 remind us that the Lord
will never forget the people of Israel. In fact, it says that even if a
mother could forget her child, the Lord would not forget his children,
for they are “engraved” on the palms of his hands. And, verses 17 and 18
show that the descendants of Israel would return, as they did after the
fall of the Babylonian Empire.
Isaiah 49:13-17 (NIV):
13 Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O
mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on
his afflicted ones.
14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no
compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
17 Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you.
The people of Israel will never be completely destroyed
Bible prophecy: Leviticus 26:44 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Throughout history
In Leviticus 26:44, the Bible said that God would never allow the people of Israel to be completely destroyed.
During ancient times, 10 of the 12 Tribes of Israel were
decimated by the Assyrians. And the Babylonians later persecuted what
was left of the people of Israel. But, instead of assimilating or
perishing, some of the people eventually returned to their homeland and
recover their way of life.
The recovery was very complete, complete enough that Jerusalem
again had been restored as the center of Jewish life. And the followers
of Jesus were able to begin a process in Jerusalem by which Christianity
later spread throughout the world.
Leviticus 26:44 (NIV):
Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies,
I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely,
breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God.
God promised to restore the Jews
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 27:12-13 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 2600 years ago
In Isaiah 27:12-13, the prophet said that the exiled Jews would
return to their homeland. During the time of Isaiah, about 2700 years
ago, the Assyrians were conquering the northern part of the Jewish
homeland and forcing many Jews into exile. A few hundred years later,
the Babylonians did the same to the southern part of the homeland. Many
Jews did return during the centuries that followed. They rebuilt the
Temple and worshipped at the Temple.
But, in 70 AD and in 135 AD, the Romans suppressed two uprisings
among Jews in Jerusalem, who fought, unsuccessfully, for independence
from the Roman Empire. After each of the uprisings, the Romans exiled
hundreds of thousands of Jews. After the second uprising, the Romans
temporarily banned Jews from living in Jerusalem. But the Jews have been
returning in large numbers since the late 1800s.
Isaiah 27:12-13 (NIV):
12 In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates
to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by
13 And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were
perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and
worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
NIV Footnote:  Hebrew River
Enemies would move into the land of Israel
Bible prophecy: Leviticus 26:32-33 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Beginning in about 721 BC
In Leviticus 26:32-33, as well as in other prophecies of the
Bible, we learn that the people of Israel would be persecuted in the
nations to which they would be driven during their exile, and that the
land of Israel would be in ruins.
Here, though, we also learn that enemies would reside in the land
of Israel during and after the time of exile (Leviticus 26:32).
This fulfillment of this prophecy began about 2500 years ago when Jews began returning from their Babylonian exile.
As explained in the Bible’s book of Nehemiah, the returning Jews
were met with hostility from foreigners who were residing in and around
Jerusalem. In the early chapters within the book of Nehemiah, the
foreigners taunt the Jews as the Jews seek to rebuild Jerusalem, which
had been destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.
Nehemiah confronts the foreigners, telling them that the Jews will be successful in rebuilding their fallen city:
I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us
success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have
no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it” (Nehemiah
2:20, NIV translation).
Nehemiah organized an effort to rebuild the walls around
Jerusalem and the project was completed in 52 days, as explained in
Whereas Leviticus 26:32-33 speaks of the punishment through exile
and destruction, other verses within the 26th chapter of Leviticus
speak of forgiveness and restoration. Nehemiah played an important role
in the restoration of the land and people of Israel after the fall of
the Babylonian Empire.
Leviticus 26:32-33 (NIV):
32 I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.
33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my
sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will
lie in ruins.
The Jews would survive Babylonian rule and return home
Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 32:36-37 Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 536 BC
Jeremiah was one of the prophets who warned the people of Judah
that they would be forced into exile by the Babylonians. In Jeremiah
32:36-37, he prophesies to the people that they will survive that their
exile in Babylon and return home.
Babylon had defeated the Assyrians in a decisive battle, ending
in 612 B.C., at Nineveh. And then, in 609 B.C., the Babylonians captured
the last Assyrian king. The Assyrians had an empire that had included
the land of Judah but now the Babylonians had seized control of the
In an effort to show the people of Judah that Babylon was now
their new master, they began a process of forcing key residents into
exile, as early as 605 B.C. More deportations took place in later years,
culminating with the wholesale destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple
in 586 B.C.
Jews began returning to their homeland after the Babylonian
Empire was toppled in 539 B.C., by a coalition of Medes and Persians.
Jeremiah 32:36-37 (NIV):
36 “You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and
plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon’; but this is what
the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
37 I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish
them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this
place and let them live in safety.
The people of Israel would return to their land
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 34:13 Prophecy written: Between 593-571 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 2600 years ago
Like Jeremiah, the prophet Ezekiel also lived during the time
that the Babylonians ruled over the people of Judah, and he too was one
of the Jews who were taken to Babylon as captives. In Ezekiel 34:13, he
prophesied that God would gather the exiles from the various nations to
which they had been scattered and that he would restore them to “their
Ezekiel 34:13 (NIV):
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
Jesus prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:1-2 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD
In Matthew 24:1-2, Jesus prophesied that the Temple of Jerusalem
would be destroyed and that its destruction would be so complete that
not one stone would be left standing on top of another. His prophecy was
fulfilled about 40 years later when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and
tore down the Temple. The destruction was so complete that even the
foundations of the Temple were dug up, according to Josephus, an
historian who wrote about the destruction.
Matthew 24:1-2 (NIV):
1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.
2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth,
not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown
Jesus prophesied that the Jews would be exiled
Bible prophecy: Luke 21:24 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD
In Luke 21:24, Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trampled upon
by foreigners and that the people of Israel would be forced into exile.
About 40 years after Jesus delivered that prophecy, it began to
find fulfillment. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in the year 70, and
again in the year 135.
During the first destruction, Josephus, an historian who lived
during the first century, claimed that 1.1 million Jews died and that
hundreds of thousands were forced out of the country and into exile and
During the second destruction, Cassius Dio, an historian who
lived during the second century, claimed that 580,000 Jews were killed,
and that 50 fortified towns and 985 villages were destroyed.
The exiled Jews were taken to countries throughout the Roman
Empire and eventually scattered and re-scattered throughout the world.
Luke 21:24 (NIV):
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all
the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the
times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Jesus explained why Jerusalem would be destroyed
Bible prophecy: Luke 19:41-44 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD
In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed because of the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah.
Although some people did accept Jesus as the Messiah, many people
rejected him. In fact, the rejection was strong enough that Jesus was
executed a short time after uttering the prophecy.
Luke 19:41-44 (NIV):
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an
embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within
your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did
not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Daniel foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple
Bible prophecy: Daniel 9:24-26 Prophecy written: About 530 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD
During the time of Daniel, who lived about 2600 years ago, the
Babylonians invaded Judah (the southern part of the land of Israel) and
took many Jews, including Daniel, as captives to Babylon.
The Babylonians also destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, in 586 B.C.
In Daniel 9:24-26, Daniel delivers a prophecy that Jerusalem and
the Temple would be destroyed, again. Within these verses, Daniel
provides a chronology by which certain events would occur. First, the
Jews would return from captivity and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.
Afterwards, an “anointed one,” or Messiah, would appear, but he would be
rejected. Then, Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed, again.
These events later played out during the century in which Jesus had announced that he was the Messiah.
Daniel 9:24-26 (NIV):
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy
city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and
prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to
restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes,
there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt
with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off
and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will
destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War
will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
Zion would be “plowed like a field”
Bible prophecy: Micah 3:11-12 Prophecy written: Sometime between 750-686 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 135 AD
In Micah 3:11-12, the prophet Micah said that Jerusalem would be
destroyed and that “Zion” – a central part of Jerusalem – would be
“plowed like a field.”
Micah’s prophecy is believed to have been delivered in about 730
BC (about 2700 years ago). Since that time, Jerusalem was destroyed in
586 BC by the Babylonians and by the Romans in 70 AD. The Romans
destroyed it again in 135 AD to crush a second Jewish rebellion for
According to a text in the Gemara – a collection of ancient
Jewish writings – the Romans ran a plow over Zion on the 9th day of the
Jewish month of Ab. The Gemara said that Turnus Rufus, a Roman officer,
plowed the area of the Temple. This prophecy was fulfilled in literal
Incidentally, there was a Roman coin minted during that era that
shows an image of a man using a plow. The coin was intended to
commemorate the founding of the pagan Roman city called Aelia Capitolina
on the site of Jerusalem. The Romans sometimes minted coins showing the
plowing motif as a symbol of the establishment of a new Roman city.
Judaists fast (go without food) on the 9th day of the Jewish
month of Ab (sometimes spelled Av) in remembrance of five historic
events that are recorded as occurring on that date. One of those events
is the plowing of all or part of Jerusalem by the Romans.
Micah 3:11-12 (NIV):
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price,
and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the LORD
and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound
overgrown with thickets.
The Bible foreshadowed Rome’s destruction of Israel
Bible prophecy: Deuteronomy 28:49-52 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 70 AD
The Bible has several prophecies foretelling the destruction of
the land of Israel, including one in the book of Deuteronomy that
coincides with the manner in which the Roman army destroyed the land of
Israel during the first and second centuries:
“The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the
ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down . . . They will lay
siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified
walls in which you trust fall down.” (Portions of Deuteronomy 28:49-52,
The Romans oppressively ruled over the land of Israel for a
century before the Jews waged two wars for independence, the first
beginning in 67 AD and the second beginning in about 132 AD. Both wars
resulted in great destruction to the land and people of Israel.
An ancient historian named Cassius Dio claimed that the Roman
army had razed to the ground 985 villages throughout Israel. If the
figure is to believed, then it might be including settlements, along
with cities and towns, throughout the land. The writings of Cassius Dio,
along with those from Josephus, another first-century historian,
indicate that the Roman army’s destruction of Israel was very complete.
The prophecy also speaks of an eagle in reference to the army
that would swoop down upon Israel and reduce it to a state of
desolation. As we learn from historians, including Tacitus who lived
during the first century, the Romans marched with standards – poles
adorned with the eagle figurines – held high above their heads, as
though the eagles were in flight.
Another feature of the prophecy is that it speaks of armies being
gathered from the ends of the earth. The Romans had armies scattered
throughout parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. To quell the Jewish
uprising, some troops had to be called in from as far away as the
Deuteronomy 28:49-52 (NIV):
49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from
the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose
language you will not understand,
50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young.
51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of
your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new
wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until
you are ruined.
52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land
until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will
besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving
Israel would become a wasteland
Bible prophecy: Deuteronomy 29:23 Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC Prophecy fulfilled: At different times in history
In Deuteronomy 29:23, the Bible said Israel would become a
wasteland. This prophecy certainly was fulfilled. The land has been
described many times as having been a sparsely populated wasteland, as
recently as the late 1800s and early 1900s.
American writer Mark Twain wrote this, in 1867, about the land of
Israel, which at the time was called Palestine: “Palestine sits in
sackcloth and ashes… the spell of a curse that has withered its fields
and fettered its energies… Palestine is desolate and unlovely… It
is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.”
Deuteronomy 29:23 (NIV):
The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur-nothing
planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be
like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the
LORD overthrew in fierce anger.
The Jews would be scattered to other countries
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 22:14-15 Prophecy written: Between 593-571 BC Prophecy fulfilled: At different times in history
In Ezekiel 22:14-15, the prophet said that the Jews would be
scattered to other countries. When Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, he
was in Babylon with many other Jews who had been exiled from their
homeland and taken as captives to Babylon. But, after the Babylonian
Captivity, many Jews had returned to their homeland only to be exiled
and scattered by the Romans. The Romans, in the hopes of preventing the
Jews from ever organizing another attempt to secure sovereignty for
their homeland, scattered the Jews to several different countries. The
plan successfully contributed to the worldwide dispersion of Jews. Even
so, millions of Jews returned to their ancient homeland during the past
century and successfully re-established independence for Israel in 1948.
Ezekiel 22:14-15 (NIV):
14 Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.
15 I will disperse you among the nations and scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness.
Babylon would rule Judah for 70 years
Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 25:11-12 Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 609 BC to 539 BC
11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the
king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their
guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.
Babylon would be attacked by the Medes
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 13:17 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 539 BC
In Isaiah 13:17, the prophet said the Medes would attack Babylon.
This happened about 150 years after Isaiah is believed to have
delivered this prophecy. The Medes joined the Persians and conquered
Babylon in about 539 BC.
Isaiah 13:17 (NIV):
See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.
Babylon’s gates would open for Cyrus
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 45:1 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 539 BC
In Isaiah 45:1, the prophet said God would open the gates of
Babylon for Cyrus and his attacking army. Despite Babylon’s remarkable
defenses, which included moats, and walls that were more than 70-feet
thick and 300-feet high, and 250 watchtowers, Cyrus was able to enter
the city and conquer it. Cyrus and his troops diverted the flow of the
Euphrates River into a large lake basin. Cyrus then was able to march
his army across the riverbed and into the city.
Isaiah 45:1 (NIV):
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose
right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip
kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be
Babylon’s kingdom would be overthrown, permanently
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 13:19 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 539 BC
In Isaiah 13:19, the prophet said Babylon would be overthrown,
permanently. History confirms that when Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539
BC, it never again rose to power as an empire. Before the time of Cyrus,
however, Babylon had been defeated by the Assyrian Empire but was able
to recover and later conquer the Assyrian Empire. However, like Isaiah
prophesied 2700 years ago, the Babylonian Empire never recovered from
Isaiah 13:19 (NIV):
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Babylon would be reduced to swampland
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 14:23 Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 539 BC
In Isaiah 14:23, the prophet said that Babylon, which had been a
world power at two different times in history, would be brought to a
humble and final end. It would be reduced to swampland. After Cyrus
conquered Babylon in 539 BC, the kingdom never again rose to power. The
buildings of Babylon fell into a gradual state of ruin during the next
several centuries. Archaeologists excavated Babylon during the 1800s.
Some parts of the city could not be dug up because they were under a
water table that had risen over the years.
Isaiah 14:23 (NIV):
“I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord Almighty.
Tyre’s mainland would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:7-9 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 573 BC
In Ezekiel 26:7-9, the prophet said in 590 BC that Babylonian
king Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the mainland of Tyre. Four years
later, the Babylonians began a 13-year siege of Tyre. It lasted from 586
BC to 573 BC. (Alexander the Great later destroyed the island portion
of Tyre, in 332 BC).
Ezekiel 26:7-9 (NIV):
7 “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am
going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of
kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army.
He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will
set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise
his shields against you.
9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons.
NIV Footnote:  Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, of which Nebuchadnezzar is a variant; here and often in Ezekiel and Jeremiah
Tyre’s fortresses would fail
Bible prophecy: Amos 1:9-10 Prophecy written: About 750 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Amos 1:9-10, the prophet said that God would cause Tyre’s
protective fortresses to fail, as punishment for the way that Tyre
treated Israel. That prophecy was fulfilled in 586-573 BC when
Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked the mainland of Tyre, and in
333-332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre.
Alexander’s army built a land bridge from the mainland to the island so
that they could use a battering ram to break through the island’s
Amos 1:9-10 (NIV):
This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Tyre, even for
four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she sold whole
communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, I
will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her
Tyre would be attacked by many nations
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:3 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 573 BC, 332 BC, etc.
In Ezekiel 26:3, the prophet said that Tyre, the Phoenician
Empire’s most powerful city, would be attacked by many nations, because
of its treatment of Israel. At about the time that Ezekiel delivered
this prophecy, Babylon had begun a 13-year attack on Tyre’s mainland.
Later, in about 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre
and brought an end to the Phoenician Empire.
Ezekiel 26:3 (NIV):
therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you,
O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting
up its waves.
Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be cast into the sea
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:12 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:12, the prophet said that Tyre’s stones, timber and
soil would be thrown into the sea. Ezekiel’s prophecy accurately
describes how Alexander the Great built a land bridge from the mainland
to the island of Tyre, when he attacked in 333-332 BC. Alexander’s
forces took rubble from Tyre’s mainland and tossed it – stones, timber
and soil – into the sea, to build the land bridge (which is still
Ezekiel 26:12 (NIV):
They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they
will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your
stones, timber and rubble into the sea.
Tyre would be scraped and made bare
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:4 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 333 BC
In Ezekiel 26:4, the prophet said the buildings of Tyre would be
ripped down and that the rubble would be scraped away. This might have
happened in two stages. The Babylonians destroyed the mainland of Tyre
during an attack that ended in 573 BC. Then, Alexander the Great
attacked the island of Tyre in 333-332 BC. It is believed that
Alexander’s army scraped the rubble from the mainland and tossed it into
the sea, building a land bridge to the island to conquer it. The
prophecy may have been fulfilled in another way: During the centuries
after Alexander’s conquest of Tyre, the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and
Arabs came to the area of Tyre and put up their own buildings on or near
the site of the original Phoenician Tyre. In doing this, the workers
would have had to remove rubble from the original Phoenician Tyre.
Ezekiel 26:4 (NIV):
They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock.
Tyre would lose its power over the sea
Bible prophecy: Zechariah 9:3-4 Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Since 332 BC
In Zechariah 9:3-4, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of
Tyre would lose its status as a powerful nation on the Mediterranean
Sea. Today there is a city called Tyre that is either on, or near, the
original Phoenician site. But this Tyre is a small city in modern-day
Lebanon. It is certainly not the powerful nation that it was in the days
Zechariah 9:3-4 (NIV):
Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.
But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire.
Phoenician Tyre would never again be found
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:21 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: After 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:21, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of
Tyre would be brought to an end and would never again be found. When
Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 332 BC, he brought an end to
the Phoenician Empire. The Empire was never revived or “found” again. As
for the city itself, it has been torn down and built upon by a
succession of foreign powers. Today, finding artifacts from the original
Phoenician Tyre is difficult. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia,
Fifth Edition: “The principal ruins of the city today are those of
buildings erected by the Crusaders. There are some Greco-Roman remains,
but any left by the Phoenicians lie underneath the present town.”
Ezekiel 26:21 (NIV):
I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You
will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the
Phoenician Tyre would never be rebuilt
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 26:14 Prophecy written: Between 587-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Since 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:14, the prophet says the Phoenician city of Tyre
would be destroyed and never be rebuilt. This was fulfilled when
Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC. His conquest brought an
end to the Phoenician Empire. The empire never recovered from the
attack. And so, it could never rebuild Tyre. Other nations and empires
have built and rebuilt cities on or near the original Phoenician site.
Ezekiel 26:14 (NIV):
I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
Nineveh’s army officers would desert
Bible prophecy: Nahum 3:17 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 3:17, the prophet said Nineveh’s army officers would
flee rather than fight. Babylonian records claim that Assyrian army
members did flee from the battle.
Nahum 3:17 (NIV):
Your guards are like locusts, your officials like swarms of
locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day– but when the sun
appears they fly away, and no one knows where.
Nineveh would be destroyed
Bible prophecy: Nahum 3:19 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 3:19 (and 1:9), the prophet said that Nineveh, which was
the Assyrian Empire’s capital and perhaps the most powerful city of the
ancient world, would suffer a wound that would never heal.
In 612 BC (about 2600 years ago), a coalition of Babylonians,
Scythians and Medes conquered the heavily fortified city. According to
the Bible, Nineveh was to be punished for the empire’s inhumane
treatment of Israel.
It is unknown as to when exactly Nahum delivered this prophecy.
Some scholars speculate that it was delivered about two years before the
conquest. But, it is known that Nahum was correct: the city of Nineveh,
as well as the Assyrian empire as a whole, never recovered from the
It is worth noting that recovery would not have been
unprecedented. The Assyrian empire had conquered Babylon many years
beforehand, but Babylon was able to recover from that defeat, regain its
power, and defeat Assyria. But, as Nahum had accurately prophesied some
2600 years ago, Nineveh never recovered.
Nahum 3:19 (NIV):
Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who
hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not
felt your endless cruelty?
Nineveh’s destruction would be permanent
Bible prophecy: Nahum 1:8-9 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 1:8-9, the prophet said Nineveh’s destruction would be
permanent and that it would not cause trouble a second time. This
prophecy has been fulfilled. Nineveh’s destruction in 612 BC brought an
end to the city’s status as the ancient world’s most powerful city. It
also brought an end to the Assyrian Empire, for which Nineveh was the
capital. Many empires have lost and regained power, including Babylon,
which played a key role in conquering Nineveh. But, like Nahum said
2,600 years ago, Nineveh never rose to power again.
Nahum 1:8-9 (NIV):
8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh]; he will pursue his foes into darkness.
9 Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.
NIV Footnote:  Or What do you foes plot against the LORD? He
Ninevites would be drunk in their final hours
Bible prophecy: Nahum 1:10 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 1:10 and 3:11, the prophet said that during the final
hours of the attack on Nineveh, the Ninevites would be drunk. There is
evidence that this prophecy was fulfilled. According to the ancient
historian Diodorus Siculus: “The Assyrian king gave much wine to his
soldiers. Deserters told this to the enemy, who attacked that night.”
Siculus compiled his historical works about 600 years after the fall of
Nahum 1:10 (NIV):
They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble.
Nineveh would be hit with a flood
Bible prophecy: Nahum 2:6 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 2:6, the prophet said that Nineveh would be hit with a
flood. This reportedly happened while the Babylonians and Medes were
attacking the great city around 612 BC. According to the Greek historian
Diodorus Siculus, who lived in the First Century BC, heavy rains had
caused the Tigris River to overflow and flood part of Nineveh. The
flooding destroyed some of Nineveh’s protective walls. That might have
helped the attacking forces conquer Nineveh.
Nahum 2:6 (NIV):
The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.
Nineveh would be destroyed by fire
Bible prophecy: Nahum 3:15 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 3:15, the prophet said that Nineveh would be damaged by
fire. Archaeologists unearthed the site during the 1800s and found a
layer of ash covering the ruins. According to the Encyclopaedia
Britannica: “…Nineveh suffered a defeat from which it never recovered.
Extensive traces of ash, representing the sack of the city by
Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes in 612 BC, have been found in many
parts of the Acropolis. After 612 BC the city ceased to be important…”
Nahum 3:15 (NIV):
There the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down and, like grasshoppers, consume you…
Nineveh’s fortresses would be easily captured
Bible prophecy: Nahum 3:12 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 3:12, the prophet said that Assyrian fortresses around
Nineveh would fall to attackers. A coalition of Babylonians, Scythians
and Medes successfully broke through the fortresses. Ancient Babylonian
records say the fortified towns around Nineveh began to fall in 614 BC,
about two years before the total defeat of the Assyrian empire.
Nahum 3:12 (NIV):
All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe
fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
Ninevites would be wiped out
Bible prophecy: Nahum 1:14 Prophecy written: About 614 BC Prophecy fulfilled: 612 BC
In Nahum 1:14, the prophet said Nineveh would have no descendants
to carry on the prestige of Nineveh. Nineveh’s destruction in 612 BC
marked a permanent end to the Assyrian Empire. The city itself never
again rose to any significant importance. Today, Nineveh is an
archaeological site in Iraq.
Nahum 1:14 (NIV):
The Lord has given a command concerning you, [Nineveh]: “You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.”
Daniel predicted the four great kingdoms
Bible prophecy: Daniel 2:32-33 Prophecy written: About 530 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Throughout history
In Daniel 2:32-33, there is a prophetic passage that symbolically
identified the four great kingdoms that would rise up and control much
of world, beginning in Daniel’s lifetime. The passage uses symbolic
1. The head of gold, as Daniel explained, refers to the Babylonian Empire that ruled much of the world about 2600 years ago.
2. Daniel said that the head-of-gold empire would be followed by
an empire symbolized by arms of silver. Christian scholars have often
interpreted this to refer to the Medo-Persian Empire which later
conquered the Babylonian Empire. The scholars say that the two arms
refer to the two groups – the Medes and the Persians – who comprised the
The third kingdom was symbolized by the statue’s belly and thighs of
brass. Some scholars believe that this is a reference to the Grecian
Empire, which conquered the Medo-Persian Empire. The symbol of a belly
and thighs of brass suggests that the kingdom was to start out as a
united empire but end up as a divided empire. Under the leadership of
Alexander the Great, the Grecian Empire was a united empire. But after
Alexander’s death, the empire was divided up.
4. The fourth symbol – that of iron legs and feet that were part
iron and part clay – has often been suggested to be a reference to the
Roman Empire, which later conquered the Grecian Empire.
These four kingdoms ruled over much of the world, and each of the
four ruled over the land of Israel during times in which a significant
number of Jews – and perhaps a majority of Jews – were living in their
homeland. Before the collapse of the Roman Empire, Jerusalem was
destroyed and hundreds of thousands of Jews were forced into exile. Even
today, a majority of Jews live outside of Israel.
Daniel 2:32-33 (NIV):
32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
Edom would be toppled and humbled
Bible prophecy: Jeremiah 49:16 Prophecy written: Sometime between 626-586 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 100 BC
In Jeremiah 49:16, the prophet said that Edom, a long-time enemy
of Israel, would be destroyed. Edom’s capital city, Petra, was carved
out of a mountain side and had great natural defenses. Nonetheless, it
was destroyed and the kingdom of Edom no longer exists. Today, Petra is
part of Jordan. The city was conquered by the Romans in the year 106 AD
but flourished again shortly after that. A rival city, Palmyra,
eventually took most of the trade away from Petra and Petra began to
decline. Petra gradually fell into ruin.
Jeremiah 49:16 (NIV):
The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived
you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of
the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I
will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
Egypt would never again rule over nations
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 29:15 Prophecy written: Between 593-571 BC Prophecy fulfilled: Since the time of Ezekiel about 2500 years ago
In Ezekiel 29:15, the prophet says that Egypt would recover from a
desolation (perhaps Babylon’s attack about 2600 years ago), but that it
would never again rule over other nations. Up until the time of
Ezekiel, Egypt had been a world power for centuries, dominating many
nations, including Israel. But for most of the past 2500 years, Egypt
has been controlled by foreign powers, including the Romans, Ottomans
and Europeans. Today, Egypt is again an independent nation, and it has
always been an impressive nation. But since the time of Ezekiel, it no
longer rules over other nations.
Ezekiel 29:15 (NIV):
… I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations.
The Jews would avenge the Edomites
Bible prophecy: Ezekiel 25:14 Prophecy written: Between 593-571 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 100 BC
In Ezekiel 25:14, the prophet said that the Jews would one day
take vengeance on Edom, a nation that had often warred with the Jews.
When Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, he and many other Jews were living
as captives in Babylon. They didn’t have control of their own country,
let alone anyone else’s. But, about 400 years later, Jews regained
independence for Jerusalem and the surrounding area during the
“Hasmonaean Era or Period.” During this time, the Jewish priest-king
John Hyrcanus I defeated the Edomites. According to the Columbia
Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: “Edomite history was marked by continuous
hostility and warfare with Jews… At the end of the second century
B.C., they were subdued by Hasmonaean priest-king John Hyrcanus I…”
Ezekiel 25:14 (NIV):
I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign Lord.'”
Jesus will return (to judge the living and the dead)
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:29-31 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: To be fulfilled
In Matthew 24:29-31, as well as in other places within the New
Testament, Jesus revealed about 2000 years ago that he will return in
the future to judge the living and the dead. This is a core Christian
belief that is reflected in the Apostles’ Creed, which is a summary of
Christian beliefs that was written many centuries ago. The Apostles’
Creed is recited by Christians during Christian worship services.
Matthew 24:29-31 (NIV):
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days ” ‘the sun will
be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall
from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the
sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son
of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they
will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens
to the other.
No one will know the hour or the day of Jesus’ return
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:36-37 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Many times throughout history
When Jesus lived in the land of Israel about 2000 years ago, he
gave a very simple and concise answer when someone asked him when he
would return: He explained that no one knows the hour or the day, except
for God the Father (Matthew 24:36).
so, many people throughout history have falsely insisted that they knew
the timing of Jesus’ return, only to be proven wrong. During the past
few centuries, for example, there have been some very influential people
who have misled many people with their false predictions, including:
• William Miller, who is credited with the beginning of the
Adventist movement, which includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He
claimed that Jesus would return “sometime between March 21, 1843 and
March 21, 1844.”
• After his prediction had failed, a colleague named Samuel Snow,
claimed that the true date would be October 22, 1844. That prediction
also proved false.
• Nelson H. Barbour, a Millerite Adventist who lived from 1824 to
1905, wrote a book entitled Evidences for the Coming of the Lord in
1873, and was involved in other date-setting attempts with Charles Taze
• Russell continued attempts at setting dates for the return of
Jesus and spoke of invisible fulfillments. Russell is credited as being
the founder of a religious organization called Jehovah’s Witnesses.
• Herbert W. Armstrong, who lived from 1892 to 1986 and founded a
religious organization called the Worldwide Church of God, wrote a book
called 1975 in Prophecy! The book warned of a catastrophic drought,
enslavement of Americans and Britons, nuclear war, and the return of
Jesus as a dictator.
• Joseph Smith, the founder of a religion called Mormonism, claimed that Jesus would return by 1891.
Matthew 24:36-37 (NIV):
36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus’ return will be unexpected
Bible prophecy: 2 Peter 3:1-18 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: To be fulfilled
In 2 Peter, which is the name of an epistle (letter) in the New
Testament of the Bible, we are told that the return of Jesus will take
people by surprise, that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief.”
The author, Peter, who was one of Jesus’ apostles, reminds
Christians to live righteously (2 Peter 3:11 and 2 Peter 3:14) and to
view the end times with joy rather than fear (2 Peter 3:12-13).
2 Peter 3:1-18 (NIV):
1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have
written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome
2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy
prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your
3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since
our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of
5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the
heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for
fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a
day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand
slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but
everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens
will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and
the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and
the elements will melt in the heat.
13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this,
make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as
our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of
these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to
understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the
other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on
your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless
men and fall from your secure position.
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
The “day of the Lord” will take people by surprise
Bible prophecy: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 Prophecy written: About 50 AD Prophecy fulfilled: To be fulfilled
In a letter addressed to the church of the Thessalonians, from
Paul, Silas, and Timothy, we are reminded that the return of Jesus,
which is referenced here as the “day of the Lord,” will take people by
In fact, we are told that the day will come “like a thief in the
night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), during a time when people are talking
about peace and safety (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 (NIV):
1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will
come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will
4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled,
putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before the end comes, the Gospel will be preached to the entire world
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:14 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Fulfilled in history, currently being fulfilled
In Matthew 24:14, the Bible says that the Gospel (the news about
Jesus and his offer of salvation and eternal life) will be preached
throughout the world. The Bible also says that sometime after this
happens, the end will come. The Bible has been preached throughout the
world for a long time. But now, with the increasing worldwide
availability of television and the Internet, there is greater potential
for the Gospel to be preached to everyone, everywhere.
Matthew 24:14 (NIV):
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
There will be false messiahs before Jesus returns
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:23-25 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Many times throughout history
Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 that there would be false messiahs
before his return and history has provided us with many examples.
Perhaps the most destructive of the false messiahs was Simon bar
Kochba, who unleashed such great harm on his people that the injuries
are still visible today.
Kochba lived during the second century of this era. With the help
of the highly revered Rabbi Akiva, who declared that Kochba was the
promised messiah, Kochba organized a rebellion against the Romans who
occupied and controlled the land of Israel.
The Romans, at great cost to themselves, eventually defeated
Kochba’s rebellion, and destroyed villages, towns and settlements
throughout the land of Israel, and forced a new exile of Jews from the
land of Israel, the effects of which are felt today. Even now, the
majority of Jewish people live outside of the land of Israel.
Matthew 24:23-25 (NIV):
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform
great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were
25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
Jesus spoke of a day of unequaled destruction and suffering
Bible prophecy: Matthew 24:21-22 Prophecy written: During the first century
In Matthew 24:21-22, Jesus says that there would come a time of
unequaled suffering. Many people have offered their opinions about this
prophecy, claiming that it has already happened, or that it is
happening, or that it will happen in the future. Some opinions involve
claims of widespread disease and famine, or terrorism, or nuclear war,
etc. And, so, it can be easy to overlook the good news contained in this
prophecy: No matter what happens in this world, no matter how bad
things get, God ultimately is in control. And, as we learn from other
verses, such as John 3:16, no matter what happens, those who believe in
Jesus are given the gift of salvation and eternal life with God.
Matthew 24:21-22 (NIV):
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again.
22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
Jerusalem will be trampled upon
Bible prophecy: Luke 21:23-24 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Currently being fulfilled
Jesus prophesied that the Gentiles, which is a word that refers to non-Jews, would trample upon Jerusalem until the end times.
It is interesting to note that when Jesus gave this prophecy
during the first century of this era, the Jews had considerable control
over the city of Jerusalem, even though they were forcibly incorporated
into the Roman Empire. The Jews had a Temple in Jerusalem and were able
to carry out various Temple functions associated with Judaism.
But, about 40 years after Jesus prophesied about Gentiles
trampling upon Jerusalem, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple
and forced Jews into exile. Even today, nearly 2,000 years later, the
Jews still do not have enough control over Jerusalem to rebuild their
Temple on the Temple Mount.
Luke 21:23-24 (NIV):
23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and
nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath
against this people.
24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to
all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the
times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
All who believe in Jesus will be saved
Bible prophecy: John 3:16 Prophecy written: During the first century Prophecy fulfilled: Currently being fulfilled
In books, movies and Internet articles, so much attention is
given to the prophecies that foretell the future of the world that we
sometimes overlook the prophecies that foretell our own futures, on an
individual basis. Consider, for example, John 3:16, in which Jesus
prophesies that anyone who believes in him will be given the gift of
eternal life with God.
John 3:16 (NIV):
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Violence (days of Noah) 50 million abortions yr. 35 million slaves/human trafficking (Rev. 18:13)
Immorality (days of Lot) $100 billion porn yr. Est 5 million pornographic sites (1 Tim. 4:3; Rev. 9:21; 14:8; 17:1-4; 18:2-4, 9-10; 19:2)
Parables for responsiveness
Parable #1: (Mt. 24:45-51) The parable of the faithful and wise servant teaches us that there are two types of Christian leaders. We are challenged to be diligent to do God’s will in the face of pressure and disappointment. Some respond in bitterness which can eventually lead to doing “evil.”
Parable #2: (Mt. 25:1-13) The parable of the ten virgins emphasizes the need to cultivate intimacy in relationship with Jesus as our Bridegroom God, along with being diligent to do God’s will. (Psalm 91:1; Psalm 92:10;)
Parable #3: (Mt. 25:14-30) The parable of the talents focuses on seeing the value of our life assignment even when it is small and difficult, knowing that He rewards faithfulness in the age to come.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs in the Kingdom of heaven.
Apart from God their is nothing in the human spirit that has the power to do the will of God in regards to personal transformation. We are not naturally equipped with the spiritual tools to live a life that God calls great and meaningful. As believers we can attempt to lean on our our strength, skills and understanding to do Gods work and will, this will lead to spiritual boredom and dullness. The first beatitude exhorts us to never expect to accomplish anything spiritually apart from a dependence on God on a moment by moment basis. “Our daily bread”
Key words: Humility, Submission, Dependence, Prayrerfulness Poor in spirit is not. Low value, despising ones self, self hatred, emotional woundedness, comparing to others,
Bible verses that allude and exhort to spiritual poverty.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
In the sermon on the mount Jesus is committed to equipping us for adverse life situations without the feelings of defeatism and hopelessness.
If we are overrun with emotional negativity we wont have the capacity to love well.
The Sermon on the mount gives us 8 Beautiful truths that equip every believer to walk in victory over emotional distress, self hatred, anxiety, depression but also teaches us to walk in humility and love at the highest levels.
He equips us to with these 8 beatitudes as tools that we can use to ascend the mountain called life.
After teaching the 8 beatitudes Jesus will describe the most common problems that confront us in life and how we are are to responds as citizens of his kingdom. This is how we become salt and light.
The evidence that we have the spirit operating in us is that we respond life circumstances issues as Jesus describes and become brighter examples of Love and a family of affection.
because of our familiarity with this sermon, it is common to be passive about it’s contents and presume that we are adhering to it without giving it any special attention.
We are not automatically awesome at following the sermon on the mount, nor are we expected to be.
Jesus gives us this sermon and a point of conversation that the Holy Spirit is delighted to have with us. The catch is that we need to be willing to ask.
Jesus’s vision and desire for us is found in Peter?
Because of the amount of content the scripture provides it is easy to become overwhelmed.
I imagine the word of God like a galaxy and Jesus reaches up into the vortex of the galxay and grabs a piece of it and gives it to us in the sermon on the mount.
Another analogy is like a wagon wheel. The sermon on the mount is the hub and the rest of the bible are the spokes. Every truth in the epistles finds its center point in this sermon.
When we talk to Jesus through the scriptures it is like giving him home field advantage, its truth on his terms.
This sermon answers the cry of the philosophers, what is our purpose, why are we here and how do we please God.
This sermon answers the wound of the poor, why is my life this way, how should I live and what should I expect.
This sermon brings peace to the wealthy and the weight they carry from the responsibility of earthly authority.
This sermon came from the most important person in human history to display the perfect strategy to bring freedom to the human heart.
This sermon is not only the most important sermon ever spoken but quite possibly the most important words ever written.
Confronts our independence.
Its contents brings peace to the conflicted.
Brings and end to racism and war.
Ends hatred for our brothers.
Teaches love with no limit and no end.
This sermon contains the contents of what the holy spirit wants to talk to us about most and the rewards that the human heart does not even know it desires.
This sermon I believe will heal the doctrinal and denominational divides.
This sermon I believe will confront and heal the issues of sessationism.
This sermon I believe will heal the divide caused by poor doctrinal practices and theological abuse.
In this sermon Jesus is describing what a citizen of the Kingdom looks like.
The sermon on the mount is describing what it looks like to abide in Matthew 22:37-38.
The sermon on the mount can be mistakenly read as, if you want to be saved this is how you do it. No!
The Sermon on the mount is, if you want to live with a vibrant heart and feel the benefits of the kingdom, this is how you live.
Most of our problems in live come from neglecting, ignoring or mitigating the 8 beatitudes.
The Beatitudes define
The eight beatitudes define first commandment love John 13-17
They define the kingdom lifestyle
They define what ministry impact is
Jesus settles the issue of Legalism and Love
The 8 beatitudes, when expressed sincerely, through a believer can often times be off-putting and seemingly promote legalism. However, Jesus makes a clear distinction on the difference between whole hearted obedience and legalism. The beatitdues are the 8 virtues that Jesus is leading every believer into so we can be the salt and light of the earth v.13. Make no mistake, the man we love and worship is calling us to obey these commandments whole heartedly and to promote them in others.
The sermon on the mount is the intended fruit that the mosaic law was intended to produce through responding to the Lord in relationship. The religious leaders turn the law into an observance instead of invitations to the Fathers heart.
To walk in the full obedience of the kingdom values laid out in Matthew 5,6, and 7 we voluntarily give ourselves to the beatitudes of Matthew 5
Matthew 5:13 Being the Salt and Light will be burdensome if the 8 beatitudes are not operating in your life to some degree. Not perfectly, but the reach in our heart for them is sincere and determined.
If you make the 8 beatitudes the preoccupation of your mind and heart your life will naturally become a salt and light to this world. You won’t have to try, you will naturally exhibit and demonstrate the character and culture that Jesus promotes in his kingdom. You will in effect, be most effective.
If you want to embrace what Jesus wanted you to embrace in terms of lifestyle choices. Sermon on the mount.
If you want to disciple people in Kingdom values. Sermon on the mount.
If you want to know how to be a faithful disciple. Sermon on the mount.
If you want to know how to overcome anxiety, fear, and depression. Sermon on the mount.
If you want to know how to live a life of peace, happiness, and satisfaction. Grab ahold of the sermon on the mount and never let go!
The sermon on the mount is the summary message of the most important things Jesus wanted us to receive in his teaching.
The Supernatural power of the beatitudes
The sermon on the mount is the most masterful teaching He plants the beatitudes and seeds
The human heart is naturally bothered and unsatisfied. These virtues are the best medicine for depression, anxiety, worry, fear…
Every human heart longs for happiness the beatitudes lead us into a life of peace.
Our hearts and minds are constantly preoccupied with other things.
We have to be patient. The beatitudes grow
The 8 beatitudes are like a table of contents. Learn and teach them in almost every Bible narrative.
The Blessings are not generic. They are designed invitations.
It’s not too much to think about or remember. These are the keys to personal emotional freedom. Set your mind on what is pure, right and holy. We want these 8 beatitudes to become the preoccupation of our mind.
If you worry and you judge it will completely shift the inner dialog that you have with God about the virtues to the negative circumstances of everyone elses lack of commitment. It will steal the life out of the message and you will lose your salt and your light.
Jesus is not asking us to intellectually agree with what he deems as healthy lifestyle choices he is inviting us to a real culture of change and humility where we go low and lift up others, impacting everyone and the culture around us. He is inviting us into a radical commitment of humility and life style choices.
Part two of my last sermon October 27. Cooperating with Grace.
The Question is. Now what? How does Jesus want us to respond?
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom
What is the Kingdom? The Infiltration of Jesus influence over the nations. Haggai 2:7.
Jesus tells us the first commandment is the highest priority Matthew 22:37-38
Which is it? Jesus describes what it means to walk in these two truths with the Sermon on the Mount.
The Kingdom is most effective when We have to refuse to abandon any of these three truths.
His Word is obeyed – Luke 8:21, Luke 11:28, Jesus quotes the OT 78 the Apostles quote it 209.
His Will expressed – Matthew 6:10
His Power Displayed – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
These 3 points are Jesus’ Long term discipleship plan for every believer.
B. John the baptist describes Jesus ministry
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
John the Baptist is quoting Isaiah 40:3
John is not describing topological changes to the terrain
John is describing Jesus’ new testament ministry to transform the human heart.
Jesus will raise valley’s (self hatred, depression and anxiety) lower every mountain of (pride and arrogance)
Jesus honors Isaiah 40:3 by preaching on a plain (valley) Luke 6 and on a mountain Matthew 5,6,7.
This message reaches the heights and depths of the human heart.
The (beatitudes) in the SOTM transform our emotions so we love Him and people on a deeper level.
4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:4
To understand how Jesus and John the baptist preach and what Jesus wants us broken free from you have to go back about 600yrs.
C. Babylonian Siege
To understand Jesus and John the baptists ministry on earth we actually need to go back 600yrs BC
Seige of Babylon in 586BC , Habakkuk 1:6; Joel 2:1-11; Leviticus 26
This information sets the stage for how Jesus and John the Baptist minister
23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers’ idols.
Final prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Jerusalem under rule by Persians, Greeks, Macabbean Revolt and then Rome
From Malachi to Matthew approximately 500 yrs.
No known prophets bringing word of the Lord.
legalism and religious leaders become more corrupt in this time. No Prophets.
613 commandments in the Old Testament Civil, Moral, Ceremonial
In comparison we have 15,000 to 50,000 Federal laws
Because of 70 yrs of captivity the pharisees put an emphasis on the Oral law.
Talmud and mishnah combined 6 Orders, under the 6 orders, each order contains 7-12 Tractates. Each tractate contains multiple chapters.
They believed this would prevent them from going into exile again.
The idea is to create”hedge laws” that would prevent society from breaking the laws found in the torah.
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you”
After 500 with no prophet, 2 radical prophets appear on the scene. John the Baptist and Jesus.
Jesus and John are in opposition to the oral law and the Jewish way of life because it is oppressive.
D. Traditions of the Elders/Oral Law/Traditions of Men
A Fundamental understanding of the oral law is key to understanding the gospels.
Jesus “breaks” the sabbath?
5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
(Jesus Quotes Isaiah Isaiah 29:13) “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
Mark 7:5-9 ESV
4 They (Pharisees) crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.
Matthew 23:4 NLT
The confusing thing about the Life of Jesus
His rejection of the Religious leaders (mistaken for rebelling against the laws of Moses)
Jesus opposed the Traditions of the Elders not the Torah Law.
Jesus breaks the sabbath?
Mark 7:1-3 Eating with unclean hands
Matthew 12, Mark 3 Healing the withered hand
John 5 Jesus heals at the pool of Bethesda
John 9 Jesus heals the blind man with dirt and spit
Mark 2 Picking grain in the grain fields
Penalty for breaking the sabbath? Death or Excommunicated! Numbers 15:32-36
Why is this important?
Exile becomes a symbol of the way life is. Though life is full of Gods goodness it is also full of pain and hurt.
We try to build walls of protection to prevent us from falling into unfavorable circumstances again. We then have to create systems to keep the walls of protection in place.
Jesus warns us that when storms come, not if they come.
When we respond with our flesh we build walls of self preservation.
We protect ourselves from relationships, circumstances so we wont experience or have to relive the pain of our history.
A hedge of protection and self preservation.
Jesus wants to teach us how to deal with life’s Exiles (storms) without loosing our emotion stability. Depression, Anxiety, Self Hatred and un-forgivness with 8 life virtues.
Many in the Body of Christ think that there is a different strategy for their emotional freedom. There is only one strategy. There isn’t another one.
E. Quotes on Sermon on the Mount
Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.
-Martin Luther King Jr. November 1957
“Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it.”
“The Sermon on the Mount is not a statement to be treated in cavalier fashion– by saying that this or that isn’t right or that here we find an inconsistency. Its validity depends on it being obeyed. This is not a statement we freely choose to take or leave.”
F. The Beatitudes
Jesus wants to create a family culture with no walls.
Jesus wants to create a family culture with no emotional hedges of protection. (Unforgivness/Space)
Jesus wants the 8 beatitudes to be the highest values of the church.
Jesus wants us to lay down our personal philosophies, strategies, doctrines and theologies.
Jesus wants us us to pick up his strategy called the narrow way of the 8 beatitudes.
The Holy spirit is always leading us to the 8 beatitudes.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..
G. Implications of the Beatitudes
Jesus follows up the beatitudes by stating if we embrace these 8 things we will become salt and light Matthew 5:13-14
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The six negatives to reject are in Matthew 5 1. Anger (5:21-26) criticism and murder 2. Immorality (5:27-30) 3.Disregarding the sanctity of marriage (5:31-32) 4.Not keeping our commitments(5:33-37) 5.Retaliating (5:38-42) self defense, enemies etc 6.Being passive in our love to our enemies (5:43-47).
The Five positives are to embrace in Matthew 6 serve 2. give charitable deeds: giving service and/or money, (6:1-4, 19-21) 3. life of prayer (6:5-13) 4. bless our adversaries (fullness of forgiveness, 6:14-15; 5:44) 6. fasting (6:16-18).