The Bible and Your Future
WHY can the Author of the Bible, Jehovah God, accurately predict the future while man cannot? For two reasons. Jehovah is omnipotent. He is also omniscient. Man is not.
“I am God Almighty,” said Jehovah to Abram (Abraham) almost 4,000 years ago.* “Walk before me and prove yourself faultless. And I will give my covenant between me and you, that I may multiply you very, very much.” When Abraham was 99 years old and his barren wife Sarah 10 years younger, Jehovah predicted that Abraham would become the father of “a crowd of nations.” (Genesis 17:1-4) Being almighty—omnipotent—Jehovah used his power to overcome any obstacle that could block fulfillment of his promise to Abraham, enabling that patriarch to become the father of Isaac. In time, Abraham did, indeed, become the progenitor of the Israelites and others.—Genesis 21:1-3; 25:1-4.
Jehovah is also all-knowing, all-wise—omniscient. He can foresee whatever he wishes to foresee. Of him it is said: “There is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.”—Hebrews 4:13.
God’s omnipotence and omniscience make it impossible for him to fail. He always predicts the future accurately. Hence, he could say: “Surely just as I have figured, so it must occur; and just as I have counseled, that is what will come true.” (Isaiah 14:24) Let us examine a few of the many Bible prophecies that have come true.
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Past
Babylon was once a mere satellite of the Assyrian Empire. By the seventh century B.C.E., however, the city had become the seemingly impregnable capital of the Babylonian Empire. But what would become of her? “Babylon . . . must become as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited, nor will she reside for generation after generation.” So prophesied God’s Word nearly 100 years before Babylon became a mighty world power and some 200 years prior to her fall to the Medes and the Persians. No one today can deny the fulfillment of those words. For many centuries, the city of Babylon has been nothing but heaps of stone. Babylon simply is no more.—Isaiah 13:19, 20.
Jerusalem of the first century C.E. was the site of a glorious temple built for the worship of Jehovah. Yet, the Bible records these words of Jesus Christ concerning Jerusalem and the generation hearing his words: “The days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you.” (Luke 19:43, 44) Jesus said that in 33 C.E., but it was not until 66 C.E. that Roman armies marched against Jerusalem. Although victory seemed imminent, strangely the Romans withdrew. In 70 C.E., however, the Roman army again laid siege to the city, crowded at the time with Passover celebrants, and encircled it with a fence of stakes. Some five months later, Jerusalem lay demolished, with an estimated 1,100,000 of its citizens dead.
Prophecies Now Being Fulfilled
Would you prefer present-day examples of fulfilled Bible predictions? Well, Jesus foretold events that would identify a time period known as “the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1) These prophecies form a composite “sign”—the sign of the last days of the present wicked system of things. (Matthew 24:3) Evidence of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy has been mounting since 1914. In fact, you have personally seen the fulfillment. Following are a few outstanding features of “the sign.”
Earth’s Future—Will You Be There?
What lies ahead? The Bible contains other prophecies still to be fulfilled. Among them are those concerning an earth wiped clean of evil and left shining with righteousness. Does that future appeal to you? Do you believe that Jehovah has the wisdom and the power to make things right on this planet? If so, you will want to consider what the Bible predicts for earth’s future.
Make This Your Future
For this to be your future, you must act now. Soon, before the foregoing prophecies have their complete fulfillment, Jehovah will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) At Zephaniah 2:3 the Bible advises: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” Therefore, spend your time wisely now in gaining an accurate understanding of the Bible and its prophecies so as to act with benefit to yourself and your loved ones. Jehovah’s Witnesses stand ready to help you to gain further knowledge about the future as revealed in God’s Word, the Bible.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, Jehovah is referred to as “Almighty” (Shad·daiʹ) 48 times, including 7 times as “God Almighty” (’El Shad·daiʹ), and in the Greek Scriptures 10 times as “Almighty” (Pan·to·kraʹtor).
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“Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:7) World War I began in 1914 and eventually involved an estimated 93 percent of the world’s population. Today, the world’s military forces number 106,000,000, or one soldier per 43 people. One report said: “There is nothing in past history to compare with the present buildup of destructive power in the world, and with the threat to humanity that it poses.”—World Military and Social Expenditures 1985.
U.S. Army photo
“There will be food shortages . . . in one place after another.” (Matthew 24:7) Concerning famine, a 1985 report for the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues states: “At the time of the last major African famine in the early 1970s, it was thought that chronic hunger and malnutrition were the regular condition of eighty million Africans. That number is now 100 million.”
FAO photo/B. Imevbore
“There will be great earthquakes.” (Luke 21:11) This certainly has proved true since 1914. For example, the Kanto earthquake in Japan claimed 142,800 lives in 1923. There were some 60,000 quake victims at Quetta, Pakistan, in 1935. Earthquake deaths numbered 66,700 in Northern Peru in 1970. And in 1976 some 800,000 were earthquake casualties in Tangshan, China.
“In all the nations the good news has to be preached first.” (Mark 13:10) In 1985, Jehovah’s Witnesses tallied over 590,000,000 hours preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom in 205 lands and island groups. They conducted 2,379,000 home Bible studies and left with interested people upwards of 350,000,000 Bibles and publications explaining the Bible.
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“They will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) God’s heavenly Kingdom will provide the basis for total disarmament on earth. Peace will reign!
“Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples . . . a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow.” (Isaiah 25:6) Under God’s direction and blessing, the earth will produce in rich abundance. Hunger will be no more!
“He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.” “And no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 25:8; 33:24) No illness or health problem will resist God’s cure. He even purposes to empty gravedom of its victims. How delightful to welcome resurrected loved ones!