Lesson 5: Some Amazing Examples of Prophecies Already Fulfilled!
All fulfilled prophecies are amazing. Only God can truly predict the future because only He has the power to make His predictions come to pass (Isaiah 46:9-11).
Bible prophecy begins with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of
In the midst of the beautiful garden stood two trees. God had warned
Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the
devil, speaking through a snake, convinced Eve that God was lying and
withholding good things from them.
"'You won't die!' the serpent hissed. 'God knows that your eyes will
be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything,
both good and evil'" (Genesis 3:4-5, New Living Translation).
Eve believed the lie. She and Adam both chose to disobey their Creator,
so God took away the idyllic blessings of life in the Garden of Eden and
their opportunity to partake of the tree representing eternal life. God
also foretold that they—and all mankind after them—would have
much more difficulty in this life with their relationships, childbearing,
farming, earning a livelihood and many related problems (Genesis 3:16-19,
22-24). All mankind shares in these curses because "all have sinned" (Romans
However, even in His comments to Satan God prophesied His plan for the
"restoration of all things" (Acts 3:19-21). He told the serpent, "I will
put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed
[Jesus Christ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"
(Genesis 3:15). Bruising Jesus Christ's heel was metaphorical of His crucifixion
and death, which could not hold Him. After just three days and three nights
He was raised from the dead. Christ's sacrifice provided the way to remove
the penalties of sin, and after Christ's second coming, He will remove
these curses from the earth.
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A Sampling of Prophecies Already Fulfilled
No human being can "see" the future. The best anybody can do is to make an
educated guess. God's prophets (sometimes called "seers") never "saw" into
the future on their own. They were merely messengers who spoke or
wrote what God revealed. Fulfilled prophecies therefore prove the supreme
divinity of God and the absolute veracity and validity of the Bible.
Bible prophecies predict the details of the two greatest world events, one
in the past and one in the future. Those "events" are the first coming of
Christ and the second coming of Christ! We will focus on them in future lessons
in this series.
This lesson contains a very small sample of the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies
of other events now in the past.
Did God foretell a flood that would destroy the entire earth?
Genesis 6:5-8, 17-18
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and
that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved
in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created
from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds
of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace
in the eyes of the Lord…
"And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy
from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that
is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and
you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives
Because of the extreme evil that pervaded the earth, God used a worldwide
flood (as described in Genesis 7) to destroy every human being except Noah
and his family. God called Noah to build an ark and at the same time to be
a "preacher of righteousness," warning the people to repent of their sins
(2 Peter 2:5). Genesis 6:3 apparently indicates God announced His plan 120
years before the Flood, which means that Noah had 120 years to warn the people.
This is a remarkable example of how God is merciful and "longsuffering toward
us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance"
(2 Peter 3:9).
One proof of the Flood is that Jesus Christ, the prophets and the apostles
referred to Noah and the Flood as facts of history. Abundant geological evidence
also testifies of a worldwide flood. (For more information, see "Noah's
Flood: Did It Really Happen?") There are great spiritual lessons to be
learned from this series of events including one that Jesus explained in Matthew
Did God foretell enormous blessings for the descendants of Abraham?
Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your
family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will
make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and
you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one shall not
be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir."
Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count
the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So
shall your descendants be."
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said
to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I
will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."
Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: "As for
Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham;
for I have made you a father of many nations.
"I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you,
and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between
Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting
covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to
you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger,
all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their
Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,
and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have
done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing
I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the
stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants
shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of
the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
God foretold that Abraham would have a son in his old age and his descendants
would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and that he would "be a father
of many nations." The fulfillment of the many promises given to Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob is a big and exciting subject in itself. For a full explanation,
please download or request our free booklet The
United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. And the subject of the
identity of nations in Bible prophecy will be addressed in a future lesson.
God also gave a vital spiritual promise to Abraham. When God said
in Genesis 22:18 and 26:4 that "in your seed all the nations of the earth
shall be blessed," He was primarily giving a prophecy of the blessings to
come through one descendant—the singular "Seed," Jesus Christ—who
would be the "Savior of the world" (Galatians 3:16; 1 John 4:14). God gave
this prophecy almost 1,900 years before the birth of Jesus!
Did God tell Abraham that over the course of 400 years his descendants
would be sojourners and later enslaved in a foreign land and then liberated
to "come out with great possessions"?
Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be
strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will
afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will
judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions."
This amazing prophecy undoubtedly triggered many big questions in the mind
of Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham). Why and how will they
get enslaved? How will God deliver them? How will they be able to come out
of slavery with great possessions? The prophecy was fulfilled by Abraham's
descendants migrating to Egypt, later becoming enslaved there, and eventually
being delivered by God under the leadership of Moses. The liberation of the
Israelites is described in Exodus 1 through 12 (see especially Exodus 3:20-22).
Did God tell Moses that He would use many mighty miracles to bring
Israel out of Egypt and give them a wonderful Promised Land?
Exodus 3:7-8, 19-20
And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people
who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters,
for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the
hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and
large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites
and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and
"But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not
even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with
all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let
Now the Lord said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened
his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of
Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your
son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have
done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord."
Yes, and He did all that He promised to do! He crushed the mighty power of
Egypt, liberated the Israelites and led them out of Egypt. He provided for
the Israelites in a desolate wilderness for 40 years and then helped them
conquer the land of Canaan. These are the most miraculous and spectacular
set of events in all history except for the life, death and resurrection of
The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua are largely
devoted to these events, and they are referred to frequently throughout the
Old and New Testaments. Exactly according to God's purpose and plan, He used
innumerable miracles to show that great national and military power is nothing
compared to God's supreme power.
Did God foretell that the house of Israel would be conquered and
its people deported because of their sins?
1 Kings 14:15-16
"For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water.
He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers,
and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden
images, provoking the Lord to anger. And He will give Israel up because
of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin."
After 10 Israelite tribes broke away to form the house of Israel, their king
Jeroboam led the new nation away from God's laws into all kinds of pagan idolatry.
Therefore God inspired the prophet Ahijah to foretell that God would "uproot
Israel" and "scatter them beyond the River [Euphrates]." In the region east
of the Euphrates, Assyria was rising in power, and Assyria would be God's
instrument for punishing Israel.
God "testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets,
every seer, saying, 'Turn from your evil ways'" (2 Kings 17:13). After God's
prophets warned Israel for about 200 years, the king of Assyria besieged
Israel's capital city Samaria for three years, conquered it in 722 B.C. and
"carried Israel away to Assyria" where they were scattered among other people
(2 Kings 17:5-7, 23). Most of the world today considers them the "Lost Ten
Tribes." They are not "lost" as you will learn from our booklet The
United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy.
Did God foretell that the house of Judah would be
conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and carried into captivity in Babylon for 70
years because of their sins, but then they would be freed to return to their
"Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Because you have not heard
My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says
the Lord, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will
bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these
nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment,
a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the
voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and
the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the
lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and
these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
"'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that
I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans,
for their iniquity,' says the Lord; 'and I will make it a perpetual desolation.'"
For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will
visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to
These amazingly specific prophecies were indeed fulfilled precisely. For
over 300 years, God sent prophets to warn Judah about her sins, but those
warnings were mostly ignored. The 70-year span refers to two things: a 70-year
duration of the Babylonian Empire and a 70-year punishment of Judah. These
two spans are not the same 70 years, but they greatly overlap. The fulfillment
is explained very well in the Bible commentary Seventy
Years; Judgment on the Nations.
The fall of Babylon will be addressed by the last question in this lesson.
The proclamation that freed the Jewish captives is described in 2 Chronicles
Did God use Nebuchadnezzar's dream to foretell four successive world-ruling
empires and then the Kingdom of God on earth?
"This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a
kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell,
or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them
into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of
"But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another,
a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth
kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and
shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in
pieces and crush all the others.
"Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of
iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be
in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of
the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly
strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will
mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just
as iron does not mix with clay.
"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which
shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people;
it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand
forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without
hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver,
and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass
after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
Please read the entire second chapter of Daniel to get the full context.
God inspired Daniel to correctly interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream about a
great image. Daniel told the king "you are this head of gold" (verse 38),
so Babylon was the first empire in the sequence. Then during the reign of
the Babylonian King Belshazzar, Daniel had a vision that revealed that the
next two world-ruling empires would be the kingdom of "Media and Persia" and
then the kingdom of "Greece," which would split into four divisions (Daniel
The next great empire in history was the Roman Empire with its successive
revivals. Most Bible scholars agree with this interpretation of the four parts
of the image, as a comparison with history makes it rather obvious.
The really exciting part of the prophecy is that all these human kingdoms
will be replaced someday when "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which
shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44-45). It's awesome that in this one
chapter God gave an outline of the next 2,500+ years down to the second coming
of Christ to establish God's Kingdom!
Did God foretell about 150 years in advance who by name would
conquer Babylon, set the Jewish captives free and even enable them to rebuild
Jerusalem and the temple?
"Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers;
who says to Jerusalem, 'You shall be inhabited,' to the cities of Judah,
'You shall be built,' and I will raise up her waste places; who says to
the deep, 'Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers'; who says of Cyrus, 'He
is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem,
"You shall be built," and to the temple, "Your foundation shall be laid."'"
Isaiah 45:1-6, 13
"Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to
subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him
the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: 'I will go before
you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates
of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness
and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord,
who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
"'For Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you
by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the
Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the
rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the
Lord, and there is no other...'
"I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he
shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward,"
says the Lord of hosts.
Isaiah records God foretelling the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple
before they were even destroyed! He foretold the freeing of the Jewish captives
before they were taken into captivity! He foretold the name of Cyrus long
before he was even born! He said, "I will dry up your rivers" (44:27), a prophecy
of Cyrus's strategy—to divert the waters of the Euphrates so his soldiers
could wade up the riverbed into the city of Babylon. God even foretold that
someone would unlock the "double doors" or "gates" facing the river on that
night (45:1). Part of the fulfillment of God's prophecies was Cyrus's proclamation
to rebuild God's temple (Ezra 1:1-4).
The fulfillment and significance of these prophecies is described in the Bible commentary Prophecy
of Cyrus—Past and Future Fulfillment.
The significance of these prophecies is also described in some of the related
resources cited below.
The theme of chapters 40 through 48 of Isaiah is that predictive prophecy
is a major proof of God's unique and supreme power. The detailed predictions
regarding Cyrus show how God has absolute dominion over His creation! God
sums this up well in the prophecy of Cyrus in Isaiah 46:11—"Indeed I have
spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do
Write down three spiritual lessons you learned from these prophecies and
their fulfillments. As a result, this lesson will have an even deeper effect
on you and will be a more lasting blessing for your life.
Next Lesson: Christ's First Coming—Prophesied in Detail!
Questions about this lesson? Feedback about
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