Jn 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life…
The Bible begins with the record of the earth’s creation and finishes with a new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1). Let us learn the fulfillment of the Bible prophecies through various historical events. We, therefore, can gain faith that the prophesied new heaven and earth will surely come, and prepare for it.
Liberation of Israelites by Cyrus, King of Persia
First, let us study that the Bible is true through the prophecy of King Cyrus.
Cyrus’ proclamation recorded in Ezra
According to the book of Ezra, Cyrus, King of Persia made a proclamation to release the Israelites from slavery. This happened after Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC. The discovery of the Cyrus Cylinder in 1879 verifies this. The Cyrus Cylinder records, in ancient Babylonian script, the repatriation of Jewish people following their Babylonian captivity. The Cyrus Cylinder is recognised as the first charter of human rights. It was beyond common sense for a king of that time to liberate his slave labour.
Ezr 1:1-3 This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you – may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.
However, the liberation of Jews from Babylon was already recorded in the Bible 170 years before it happened.
Cyrus prophesied to come by Isaiah
The Bible prophesies precisely the name of the gentile king Cyrus 170 years before his conquering Babylon. His decree to rebuild Jerusalem and set the exiles free was also foretold in the book of Isaiah.
Isa 45:1-3, 13 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 armour, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains,… break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron,… give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name… I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:…make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty.
God accomplishes all things according to His plan. Who could know what would happen, or even name the person by whom it would be achieved? How could it be possible for Isaiah to prophesy, 170 years in advance, that all these things would happen? God appointed Isaiah to write these Bible prophecies so that we can believe the Bible is the words of God.
Kingdom of Persia, Greece, Alexander the Great
Now let’s see that the Bible is true through the history of Media/Persia and Greece.
Daniel’s Vision concerning Persia and Greece
In the third year of King Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon who reigned from 555 to 539BC, Daniel had a vision. His vision of the future covered the rise and fall of the Persian and Greek empires over the next 200 years. His vision was of a ram (Media/Persia) being trampled on by a goat with a prominent horn (Alexander the Great). Four horns later replaced the prominent horn.
Dan 8:1-4 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns [Media and Persia]… One of the horns [Persia] was longer than the other [Media] but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west [Babylon] and the north [Lydia] and the south [Egypt]. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
Dan 8:5-8 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat [Greece] with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground [from Macedonia to India in 8 years]. It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage… The ram was powerless to stand against; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn [Alexander the Great] was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns [Seleucus, Lysimacus, Cassander, and Ptolemy] grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
Da 8:20-22 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
The ram with two horns signifies Media and Persia. As one of the horns was longer than the other, Persia became superior to Media. The Persian empire conquered Lydia in the north, Babylon in the west, and Egypt in the south. It eventually fell to the Macedonian army led by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. All this happened as prophesied in Daniel’s vision.
Alexander the Great speedily conquered from Macedonia to India within 8 years. When the Greek empire was at the height of its power, Alexander the Great passed away suddenly in 323 BC. His four generals (Seleucus, Lysimachus, Cassander, and Ptolemy) ruled the four kingdoms of the divided empire.
Through these historical events, we can have confidence that the Bible is absolutely true, words from God. No one knows the future of their country. However, God knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10). The historical prophecies in the Bible let us know what will take place in our future.
True existence of a new heaven and a new earth
God wants to leads us, children of God, to the eternal spiritual world where there is no sorrow or pain. Thus, God wants us to have faith in the Bible. The voice of God leads us to the world of eternal life.
Rev 21:1,4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea… He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
All the Bible prophecies have been fulfilled up until today. The prophesied new heaven and new earth surely exist. We are living in the earth that is not eternal, and will certainly pass away one day. God urges us with an earnest voice to prepare for a new heaven and new earth.
Preparing to enter the eternal spiritual world
This is the only world of life where we can live happily forever after the current earth reaches its limitation. God does not want anyone to perish and suffer in eternal fire. God wishes everyone to come to repentance by living holy and godly lives.
2 Pet 3:7-13 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives…looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
Mt 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
When we correctly distinguish and practice the will of God, we can enter the kingdom of heaven. From now on, please let us continually and even more diligently study the Bible, so that we may go to the kingdom of heaven.
May God bless you!