Chapter 7: Prophecies of Christ After Elisha, God raised up other prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Amos who would call the people to turn from their idolatry and sin. God spoke through these prophets, having them write many prophecies of things to come. Isaiah was a prophet during the reign of kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. (Approximately 760- 700 B.C.) God spoke through Isaiah, “I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me. The dumb ox knows its owner, but Israel does not know me. You are a sinful nation, a people filled with iniquity, children of evildoers…” “If you will put away your evil and relieve the oppressed, take care of the fatherless, and provide for the widows, I will restore and heal you, but if you do not turn to me, you will be devoured with the sword.Your whole land will be desolate, and your cities will be burned with fire. And they will carry all your sons into Babylon, and there shall they be made eunuchs to serve in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Jeremiah was a prophet during the reign of kings Josiah, Johiakim, and Zedekiah (approximately 630- 590 B.C.). He said, “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, but he will become a slave in Babylon. For I have set my face against this city for evil, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.” The Lord spoke through Jeremiah saying, And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence, And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah King of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, From the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy. My fury will burn like a fire and none will quench it. They shall carry you as slaves into Babylon, and shall slay you with the sword. Many of those who go into Babylon shall die and be buried there.” Amos was a prophet during the reigns of kings Uzziah and Jeroboam II. (approximately 765- 750 B.C.) God spoke through Amos, “Your women are as cows who require their husbands to keep them well supplied with drink. You will no longer dominate your husbands. You will be led away with hooks in your flesh to become slaves in Babylon.” “You lie on expensive furniture and eat delicate foods full of fat. You listen to music while you drink large quantities of wine. You have cast righteousness to the ground, you have trampled the poor, oppressed the righteous and taken bribes, and deprived the poor of justice. You will plant vineyards, but your enemy will drink the wine. Your military will be destroyed and you will be carried away to be slaves in a foreign land.” God says, “I will destroy the altars of Bethel and tear down your winter houses along with your summer houses. You oppress the poor, take bribes, and crush those in need. I have withheld rain, sent famine and disease and yet you will not repent. You plant vineyards to make more wine, but you will not drink it.” Mother, I’m hungry. 753 B.C. Hosea was a prophet during the reign of kings Uzziah, Hezekiah, Jotham, and Ahaz (approximately 785-725 B.C.). He prophesied, “Israel will fall by the sword, their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” “The day will come when God will forgive her sins, and will love Israel freely. Once again Israel will blossom like a lily. She will prosper like an olive tree and have fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.” “In years to come, after Babylon, you will be scattered to the nations and there they will persecute you, take your property, and you will find no place to rest.” They are taking everything. Why won’t they leave us alone? This should bring a good price. I am going to hate to see the Jews go. For they have been good for business. Mother, where are we going to live? This says all Jews are to be out of the country in just three days! According to this document, all Jews are to leave the country and you cannot take any property with you. I have always wanted this cow. Because the nation of Israel rejected the word of God, they would be scattered to all the nations of the earth; but they would never find rest until God brought them back to the land of their fathers. “The whole land of Israel will become a desolation, and you shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But after seventy years I will punish Babylon for their iniquity and will bring a remnant back to this land to rebuild it.” “Jerusalem will be so forsaken that it will be plowed like a field.” This prophecy came to pass. The enemy did indeed plow Jerusalem. But in the last days the temple will be rebuilt, and people will flow unto it. The prophet Micah, who lived from 750- 686 B.C., prophesied: “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.” “And we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. In that day, saith the LORD, I will gather her that is driven out, and I will make a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” Jeremiah prophesied: King Zedekiah has done evil in the sight of the LORD. He will not be killed. He will go into Babylon where he will live out his life with his people, but with his eyes he will never see Babylon. He will be blinded. You will remain there in Babylon for 70 years. At the end of 70 years, Babylon will be conquered by an army from the North and a remnant of our people will return to this land to rebuild the city and the temple. After a time of judgment God will forgive their sins and Jerusalem will be inhabited throughout all generations. Take this book with you to Babylon and read it there before the people. Let them know what they must endure before they return. I will restore the throne of David and you will come back and possess all your land. Ezekiel prophesied: “They will be scattered among the nations, but as God scatters them he will eventually bring them back into the land.” “God promised Abraham that his seed would inherit the land forever, and he will not break his promise. However, when the people are sinful, God will send them into captivity in the nations where they will serve strange gods, but in the end he will bring them back.” “Egypt will also be judged by Babylon, and for 40 years Egypt will lie desolate. After they return from Babylon, Egypt will never again be as great as it was in former days, but it will endure until the end. And in the latter days Egypt and Assyria will join my people Israel in a three-way peace agreement, and I will bless them.” “The Philistines will be destroyed and be no more. Likewise Ashdod, Ekron, and Ammon will be no more. Edom will utterly become desolate. Tyre will be destroyed and all the stones and timbers will be cast in the sea. It will never again be inhabited and the ground will remain as smooth as a rock, a place for fishermen to spread their nets.” “But Persia (Iran), Turkey, Ethiopia, and Libya will remain until the end, at which time they will attempt to invade the land of Israel, but they will die on the mountains of Israel.” The Bible is always perfectly accurate in its many prophecies. The cities and nations that were prophesied to cease to exist did so. The nations that were to endure until the end are still with us today. In 605 B.C. Israel was conquered by Babylon, just as the prophets had predicted. Over 5,000 Jews were brought to Babylon as prisoners of war. They brought the young and educated, hoping to find them useful in serving the kingdom. Among them was a young man named Daniel. He had always kept the commandments and walked in obedience to the God of Abraham. O Lord, for the sins of our fathers we are being punished. Help us to obey your law even now in this strange land. Daniel was a prisoner in a strange land, but he decided to remain faithful to his God. His captors noted that he had a good spirit, so they put him in a special place as one of the wise men of Babylon. We thank you, O Lord of Heaven and earth, king of the universe, that you bring forth bread from the earth. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was awakened by an unusual dream. What is the meaning of this? Surely such a dream is sent by the gods to reveal the future. You are the wise men. You claim that the gods tell you things. Now tell me what I dreamed and the meaning of it. But how can we tell you the meaning of the dream if you do not tell us the dream? No one could do that except the gods. I knew you were all frauds. The gods do not speak to you. You will all be killed along with your families, and your houses will be made into dunghills. I am sorry Daniel, but tomorrow you and all the wise men of Babylon will be slain. The king does not believe his own priests. But Jehovah God can reveal the king’s dream and the interpretation. I must get alone to pray. See if you can get him to wait for one day. LORD, you alone are God and King of the universe. Please show Your servant the things that will come to pass. There is no other god like You. Daniel, listen to me… Quick, take me to the king! If you can’t tell the king his dream, he will kill me on the spot. O king, you are the king of all kings, for the God of heaven has made you so. He has given you a vision of what shall be in the latter days. Don’t waste my time. Can you tell me my dream or not? The true God, Creator of the universe, has revealed your dream unto your servant. O King, you saw a vision of a great image. This image represents your kingdom and three others that will follow. It’s true! I told no one! Your god is the only God. You are this head of gold, the king of all kings. Before you conquered Judah, our prophets told us that God was going to judge us for our sin and then give you the kingdom. Now your reign will be glorious. The chest of silver represents another kingdom, the Medes and the Persians. After you have died, they will conquer Babylon and reign over the world as you have. O king. After the head of gold and the chest of silver, you saw the belly of brass. That brass represents the third kingdom, the Grecian. It will come after Persia and be swift and fierce. The fourth kingdom will be different from the others; the legs will be made of iron, and it will stamp and break in pieces many nations. But you saw that the iron toes were mixed with clay. In the last days the kingdom will be divided ten ways and it will be weak. Then, O king, you saw a stone cut out of a mountain, but not by the hands of man. It rolled down the mountain and struck the image at the feet and destroyed all the kingdoms in a moment’s time. That rock represents the Son of God who will come to the earth and set up a glorious kingdom. At the end of time, all the dead will be awakened to stand in judgment. Those that did evil will receive shame and everlasting contempt. Those that did good will receive everlasting life. Without question, the words you speak are from God. How else could you have known my dream in every detail? I will make you ruler over all the wise men. Daniel continued in Babylon for 68 years. He interpreted many dreams and foretold the future many times. In time, king Nebuchadnezzar died and his son Belshazzar took his place. One night as Belshazzar was having a drunken party, a mysterious hand appeared and wrote on the wall. Daniel was called in to interpret it. God gave him understanding of this unknown language. O King, you have sinned against God. As the prophets foretold, your kingdom has been taken from you this very night and given to the Medes and the Persians. The prophets predicted that this enemy would conquer Babylon by secretly entering two gates that allowed water to enter the city. The Babylonians would be too drunk to notice. History records the fall of Babylon in exactly that manner. After the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, Daniel discovered an old book written by the prophet Jeremiah, one of the books of the Bible. As he was reading, he was shocked to discover that God had earlier predicted that the Babylonian captivity would last only 70 years. Afterward a remnant would return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls and the temple. Reading further, he discovered that 200 years earlier the prophet Isaiah had actually given the name of the Persian king who would command them to return. It has now been almost 69 years….Only one year left. It says that Cyrus is God’s servant, doing God’s will. He will command that we return to our homeland! Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe. Cyrus did release the Jews 70 years after their captivity began, just as the Scripture foretold, And 52,000 returned to rebuild the city. Just as God promised Abraham, He has given us this land for an everlasting possession. He warned our fathers that we would be delivered into the hands of our enemies if we served other gods, but He promised never to forget his people. God has kept His word. Now that we have returned, we must obey Him. We must get organized. We will rebuild the walls first and then we can start on the temple. O Lord God of Abraham, you have brought us back as you promised. Teach us to walk in your paths. I have brought fresh water. Let us begin the work. Daniel was very old, so he did not go back with the others. He still played an important role as he advised the kings of the Medo-Persian empire, now located in the city of Babylon. God gave him several more visions concerning the future, even to the end of days. In one dream he saw a metallic beast. An angel told him what it meant. God is showing you what shall be in the last days. He revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that there would be four kingdoms. There have now been two. After this Medo-Persian empire will come the Grecian. It will conquer swiftly but will soon fall and be divided into four kingdoms, which will then fight among themselves until there are just two. They will fight back and forth for years until they are conquered by the fourth kingdom, which is what this metallic beast represents. The fourth kingdom will be like iron, more powerful and fiercer than all former kingdoms. It will conquer all, but in the last days this kingdom will be divided into ten nations. Then there will arise a man speaking peace. He is the last horn that grows out of the beast’s head. In the last days, he will flatter and promise peace, only to conquer and destroy. He will then set up the abominable thing in the holy place in the Jewish temple, making it ceremonially unclean so that the sacrifices will cease. There will then come a time of great trouble on the whole earth, but the righteous will be delivered. Daniel, God wants you to know what is going to happen and when. From the time the commandment is given to restore and rebuild the temple, there will be 483 years, after which Messiah will be killed in payment for the sins of the people, and then the temple will again be destroyed. This prophecy will be fulfilled, and Messiah will be anointed. There will be reconciliation made for sins, and everlasting righteousness will be brought to man. Just as Daniel recorded, the Messiah made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the very day when the 483 years were completed. God had told Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman would come and destroy the evil one. He told Noah that the Messiah would come from the family of Shem, not Japheth and not Ham. God told Abraham that the deliverer would come from his descendants through his son Isaac. God told Isaac that the promised one would come through his son Jacob, and he told Jacob that Christ would come through Judah. Many specific prophecies of the life of the promised redeemer were given by God to various prophets. They said that his active presence has been from everlasting; that he would be born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem of Judah; he would be humble in appearance; and be lowly and riding on a donkey. The LORD will put his spirit upon him, and he will bring judgment to the Gentiles. He will be a light to the Gentiles and will take salvation to all that are in the earth. He will be a suffering Messiah and will be rejected by his people, and die having his hands and feet pierced. He will hang naked and will thirst for water but will be given vinegar to drink instead. He will die between thieves and be buried in a rich man’s grave. The prophecies of Daniel concerning the four kingdoms were fulfilled exactly as he predicted. In 330 B.C., Alexander the Great, from Greece, began a campaign which lasted seven years, in which he conquered the known world, including the vast Medo- Persian empire. Greece held power until about 167 B.C. when the fourth world kingdom, Rome, began to conquer. Rome, represented in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as the feet and legs of iron, and in Daniel’s vision as the metallic beast, increased its power and territory, just as the prophets predicted. By 5 B.C., it ruled Israel with an iron hand.