Saturday, February 21, 2015

P10 Why the Bible? Proof of inspiration - Dr. John MacArthur illustrates how accurate the Bible is in its prophecy

Ezekiel 26:1-6 "Now in the eleventh year, on the first of the month, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, because Tyre has said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gateway of the peoples is broken; it has opened to me. I shall be filled, now that she is laid waste,’ 3 therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; and I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock. 5 She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ declares the Lord God, ‘and she will become spoil for the nations. 6 Also her daughters who are on the mainland will be slain by the sword, and they will know that I am the Lord.’”

Today's post features an extended explanation on God's prophecy of Tyre through the prophet Ezekiel. Why this prophecy? It gives the reader an opportunity to see firsthand how amazingly accurate the Bible is in historically verified fulfilled prophecy. To see prophecy fulfilled in history demonstrates the Divine inspiration of the scriptures. 

It wasn't long ago I heard a sermon by Bible teacher Dr. John MacArthur on the prophecy of Tyre in Ezekiel 26-28. His unfolding of it was so well done that I felt like what he said needed to be included in today's post. The excerpts quoted below is from a transcript of his sermon that can be found on his website "Grace to you" at: The audio of this sermon by Dr. MacArthur can be heard at this link, also on his website at 

I encourage the reader to read the excerpt below and to see how accurate the Bible is in the things of prophecy and why it evidences the earmarks of Divine inspiration. 

Excerpt from Dr. John MacArthur's sermon: "Our God-Breathed Bible", where he describes the amazing prophecy of Tyre in Ezekiel 26-28
"The Bible is accurate on everything it talks about. It says, “He hangeth the earth on nothing.” Whether you’re talking about geology, geodesy meteorology, physiology, biology, anthropology, astronomy, hydrology – I don’t care what you’re talking about, when the Bible speaks, it’s accurate.

Then you look at things in the Bible like prophecy. For example, maybe we have time to show you at least one. Look at Ezekiel, chapter 28, and I’ll just give you this one insight, which is so great, to show you the accuracy of Scripture historically. Ezekiel 26-28. We’ll go back to 26. Here comes a prophecy to Ezekiel about the destruction of the city of Tyre. Tyre was a Phoenician stronghold. Tyre was a fairly significant city, large city, on the coast of Phoenicia, now known as Palestine. The Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in verse 2 of chapter 26 telling about the destruction of the place."

Dr. MacArthur then reads Ezekiel 26:2-14 in the sermon to set the text before the audience, and then delivers the following explanation:

"Now, that’s pretty detailed stuff, folks. I mean that is not some kind of general prophecy, very specific. This is a great Phoenician city. From the seventh century B.C., it controlled Phoenicia. It had strong walls. About 150 feet high was the wall. That’s very high. Fifteen feet thick, and it was flourishing when Joshua led Israel into Canaan. Hiram the first was its king. He helped David build the palace, and according to 1 Chronicles 22, he helped Solomon build the temple.

Three years after this prophecy was given, Nebuchadnezzar came and laid a 13-year siege on that city. See, they were walled cities, so all you had to do was if you couldn’t get in the city, you just cut off anything coming into the city, and they eventually starved. It took him 13 years from 585 to 573. Finally, the city surrendered because they were all dying. 
Nebuchadnezzar broke down the walls and the towers, destroyed the city, did every single thing Ezekiel said he would do. 

Dr. MacArthur goes on to make further remarks about Nebuchadnezzar's historic conquering of the city, but in effect the events transpired just as Ezekiel had predicted. MacArthur then transitions into talking about how the Greeks would be used by God to complete the process of fulfillment of this prophecy:

"The island then became the new city and it flourished for 250 years out on that island. Only part of the prophecy was fulfilled, the part about Nebuchadnezzar, the part about destroying the wall, smashing it down, slaughtering the people, not getting the spoil. But not all of it was yet complete. The ruins were still on the old site. The rubble was still there.

After 250 years, a 24-year-old guy came by the name of Alexander the Great. He had 33,000 infantrymen. He had 15,000 cavalry. He had just defeated the Persians, and he was on his way to Egypt. He needed supplies, so he came by the now island city of Tyre, and he sent word, “I want you to supply all of my men and all of my horses and all of my army,” and they said, “Forget it, buddy. You don’t have a navy and we’re on an island. We’re not going to help you at all.” He didn’t like that, and it wasn’t good to get Alexander mad. He didn’t have a fleet, so he decided he had to get a way to go to that island. So he did what Ezekiel, the prophet, said would be done. It said the place would be scraped bare as a rock and all of the rubble would be thrown into the sea.

Well, what conqueror in his right mind would ever do that? Why waste your time once you’ve conquered the place, picking up everything and throwing it in the ocean, all the stone and all the rest of it? But that’s exactly what had to happen, so Alexander did it. He took all of the debris and built a 2,000 foot long, 200 foot wide causeway all the way to the island with all the debris."

In the sermon Dr. MacArthur gives more details behind exactly how Alexander the Great went about conquering Tyre, again correlating the history with the prophecy. Dr. MacArthur proceeds onward:

"It took him seven months. He went in and murdered 8,000 people over a period of a few months. Executed 7,000 more, and sold 30,000 into slavery, and fulfilled every single detail of the prophecy. Though the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt 17 times, Tyre has never been rebuilt. That’s exactly what God said. “You will be built no more.” You know what they do? Go there today. You’ll find out what they do. They dry fish nets there, just what it said. What’s the probability in that? About 1 in 75 million happening by chance."

As we close today's post, we will consider the closing remarks of Dr. MacArthur on this prophecy:

"So, when you see the Bible speak scientifically, geographically, historically, or whatever it is; it’s accurate. This is the Word of God, and what is the benefit of it? Let’s go back our original text and end up there, 2 Timothy 3. What’s the benefit of it? “All Scripture is inspired by God, profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, fully equipped for every good work.” What a tremendous thing!" 

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