Summary: Prophets, to be legitimate, must stand the test of time.
(If it misses—it’s a lie)
Prophets, to be legitimate, must stand the test of time. If the prophet was not completely correct 100% of the time he is a false prophet. Prophecy, to be valid, must predate the event; must be precise enough so as to not be vague; must have enough events described to be beyond human ability to calculate or manipulate; in other words not be something that man could do, without God’s guidance.
Only God knows the future. He is able to "call the things that are not, as though they were" (Romans 4:17). He declares "the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done." (Isaiah 46:10; Acts 15:18).
There are about 1,000 prophecies altogether in the Bible --- some 800 in the Old Testament and about 200 in the New Testament.
Here is a short list of some of the fulfilled prophecies by none other than Jesus Christ. Notice that each prophecy is fulfilled LITERALLY. There are none that are vague, mystified, or spiritualized in their fulfillment:
This is only a partial list of some 300 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ life on earth. How could all of these prophecies be so accurate? The Apostle Peter informs us that the writers of the Old Testament spoke as they were moved by the Spirit or power of God.
The most important of these end-time prophecies is the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in it’s ancient homeland. That a nation could be completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (by the Romans in 70 AD), it’s people either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other, it’s lands occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Yet Israel survived as a distinct nationality, and then finally regained its homeland and became recognized as a viable nation once more by the other nations of the world.
Seems impossible? Even so, it was predicted to happen many centuries before it happened. Jesus Himself predicted the fall of Jerusalem in Luke 19:43-44, "The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you in on every side. 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."
Deuteronomy 28:64 prophesies "Then the Lord will scatter you among the nations from one end of the earth to the other." Jesus again predicts in Luke 21:24, "They will fall by the sword and will be taken prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.".
The Jews began to return to Palestine in small numbers in the early part of the twentieth century, and then in much larger numbers after World War I. After World War II the Israeli nation was re-established in part in 1948, and in 1967 in the "six-day war" Israel recaptured the "old city" of Jerusalem. Amazingly, Jerusalem is now completely under Jewish control, except for one spot. This is on Mount Moriah where the Arabs have built their famous Dome-of-the-Rock, the second most holy place in the Muslim world. The Jews for political or other reasons have not yet dared to expel the Arabs from this site, raze it, and proceed to rebuild their temple, as they must want to do.
The Bible says that in the last days -
(a) the Jews will return to the land of Israel;
(b) Israel will become a nation again;
(c) Jerusalem will be freed from its enemies.
(a) The Jews were scattered throughout the world in A.D. 70. From that time, for nearly 2000 years, they have had no country of their own. But in our day we have seen them going back to the land of Israel and so fulfilling Bible prophecy.
"For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith me Lord: arid I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it" (Jeremiah 30:3).