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Mysterious Prophecies and Fulfillments

In the eighth century before the birth of Jesus, the Jewish prophet Micah predicted, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

Then there are the words of another Jewish prophet by the name of Isaiah. As he spoke of the pains of war and spiritual darkness, he referred mysteriously to the people in “Galilee of the Gentiles… “seeing a great light,” and wrote the words since exalted in Handel’s Messiah, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

But there are other prophecies that, in their original setting, are more obscure. Some of the fulfillments of prophecy cited by the New Testament point back to Old Testament statements that are written in the past tense and seem to point historically to someone other than a future Messiah.

The gospel writer Matthew, for instance, built some of his case for Jesus on “fulfillments” that are difficult to match with clear predictions in the Old Testament.

For example, Matthew’s Gospel describes how Joseph and Mary, take the child Jesus to Egypt to hide him from Herod, the sitting king of Israel who was intent on killing the baby who, according to rumor, had been born “king of the Jews.” Matthew goes on to say that this happened, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son’ “(2:15). But where is the prediction? Matthew is quoting the ancient prophet Hosea who, in context, clearly seems to be looking back to the birth of the nation of Israel rather than forward to the birth of a personal Messiah (Hosea 11:1).

What Is Matthew seeing? In the chapters that follow, Matthew makes it clear that when he speaks of “fulfillment” he’s thinking of something that includes but is not limited to, specific prophetic predictions.

For instance, in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, he quotes Jesus as saying that he came “to fulfill”  both the law and the prophets (Matt 5:17-18). He went on to show that he was speaking of fulfillment in ways that were more common to Jewish rabbis than to ourselves. Matthew saw Jesus personifying and giving fulfillment of meaning not only to clear and mysterious predictions of prophets, but to be:

  1. The Chosen Servant who brought fullness of meaning to a chosen servant nation.
  2. The Long awaited Author of our Faith who showed us that the unfolding drama of the Bible is really His-story.
  3. The Personal Standard and Measure who completely fulfilled the spirit and heart of the Law of God.
  4. The Ultimate Leader who fulfilled completely what Israel’s prophets, priests, and kings could only do in part.
  5. The perfect Lamb of God who fulfilled the symbolic anticipation of the sacrificial system of Israel.
  6. The Immanuel of God who by being God with and among us personified and gave completeness of meaning to the Jerusalem Temple of God’s presence.
  7. The Ultimate Holiday: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First harvest of a future resurrection who personally fulfills the meaning of the feasts and holy days of Israel.

Looking back, no one but God could have orchestrated all of the patterns, principles, and predictions that were fulfilled in Jesus. Together they show that Matthew was not overstating the case for Jesus. As our Creator, all history begins in Him. As the perfect Israelite, He fulfilled the spirit and letter of the law and history of the “chosen people.” As our Judge, all history ends in His courtroom. As our Savior, all who trust His offer of mercy will find fulfillment, not in what we have done for God but in what God has done for us…in Christ (Colossians 2:20).

For conversation: Can we honestly “look one another in the eye” and say that, in spite of all of our own pain, darkness, and broken dreams, we find in the Son of God a fulfillment of meaning that speaks peace, joy, and hope to the deepest needs of our hearts and minds? And if so, can we also/still relate to those who say they need to see the credibility of the Bible before they put their faith in it?

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28 Responses to “Mysterious Prophecies and Fulfillments”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    As a child I believed all that was told me by my mother my Sunday school teachers and older people in my life. I was a child and only knew trust as a proof.

    As I grew and become a man, when my time came,the Holy Spirit took me on a journey of enlightenment from Genesis through Revelation.

    The invisable became the visable and I could see Jesus Christ all over the Book. By the aid of my Holy Spirit teacher. I could see it with my eyes understand it with my mind and intake it into my heart.

    The childlike faith I sill had there in my heart blended with my adult senses to become one with my faith.

    I no longer need proofs nor do I search for them. The Truth is written on my heart. Nothing can seperate Him from me.

    I can and do enjoy journeys of discovery that lead me to a deeper relationship with God. Seeking out prophesy about the future is fun but not for proofs sake. It is exciting to see and understand what has taken place in the history of the world with God in control and how he controls. Also where the world is headed and Cjrist’s place in events.

    I am content to know God is the author of scripture. That the volume of the Book is written of HIM (Jesus). My faith is my proof. He who lives in my heart agrees.

  2. macsisson22 says:

    SFDBWV, I agree with a lot of what you have said, and commend your assurance and agree that I no longer need the proofs.

    However, I did not come to faith in Christ until later in life and I was involved in a religion that claimed that their hierarchy was responsable for decideing which portions of scripture we should read and believe.

    When I was shown the way to Christ I realized that there was more to faith than just believing what someone else has said or even in just believing in God. James says, “Even demons believe and they tremble.”

    So what should our faith be?

    Put a two chairs in the room and ask two people to sit in them.

    One man immediately sits down without thought.

    The other goes to the chair, picks it up and examines it. He checks to see that all of the styles and rails are tight, sets the chair back on the floor and firmly shakes the chair. After a thorough examination he sits down in the chair.

    Which of these men had what we would call biblical faith?

    It may supprise some to know that the latter is what we are called to have. We are told to “test the spirits”; “try Me in this”; that the Bareans were more faithful than those in Thesolonica because after they had heard Paul they diligently searched the scriptures to make sure that what Paul had said was so. We are told to “study to show ourselves approved…”, “take heed according to thy word”, “be ready always…. etc. etc.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Mac, If I am called upon to test spirits that come into my life it is uaually because they are introduced to me from anothers beliefs.

    My beliefs are set, if I am presented with a view that challanges that, then I should indeed “test” the spirit from whence it came.

    I,too keep tabs in my Bible to help me find various subjects should I need to defend my belief. When cults come door to door to bring false doctrine I am prepared.

    I Know who Jesus Christ is, I no longer need to be shown from any secular account nor a physical appearence to have faith. HE bears witness of himself and I know because I know.

    The last subject, about TV shows presenting their view of Christianity, is an example. I do not watch them because they grieve the Spirit. And I feel the pain.

    The Biblical faith I possess is a mixture of what the Holy Spirit has shown me through the scripture and what HE has not yet shown me is filled in with childlike faith. It completes my faith base.

    I guess my answer to you is, I would set in the chair without first looking to see if it would hold me.

  4. poohpity says:

    I believe that there are those that read the bible without the Holy Spirit and come away with no understanding. I believe like everything else God chooses how each individual needs to be addressed. What it is going to take for that person to understand. Sometimes some as a result of reading come to know Him. God knows us individually, He knows our hearts, minds and souls with that in mind He also knows who will believe and who won’t.

    Just like the Gospel writers each address different aspects of Jesus, Matthew writes about a King, Mark a servant, Luke a man, and John the deity of Jesus. I believe that the prophets also addressed different aspects of God. Collectively we see only part of what has been revealed to us and there will be yet more to learn. When we go to heaven then we will see all His Glory and it will all make sense.

    God and only God can open one’s heart and mind to the truth and how he choose to do that is as unique as each individual is unique. We also have to realize that faith is also a gift from God.

    I have thought a long time about how people who have never heard still have a piece of God in their customs or traditions which gives an opening to the missionaries if they just sit and listen like Paul did in Greece with the monument to the unknown God. It seems that when we all came from the same family tree God has come with each generation in some way or another, although diluted with human reasoning.

    One day when we all come together with a united front we will still see more of God. Sounds like “Star Trek” the collective. Just some of my thoughts! I may have been off topic but I think it fits in some way.

  5. daisymarygoldr says:

    It is well-written essay on The Mysterious Prophecies and Fulfillments. Hence, it is

    -Yes, we find in the Son of God a fulfillment of meaning that speaks peace, joy, and hope to the deepest needs of our hearts and minds

    -Yes, they need to see the credibility of the Bible before they put their faith in

    -Yes, also to SFDBWV’s comment:)

    We are not required to prove the Bible and God to others…that is the job of the Holy Spirit but we should always be ready to tell the gospel and make our defense to anyone who demands from us an accounting for the hope that we have. (1 Pet 3:15)!

  6. poohpity says:

    Gosh Mac I am sure glad you sought out the truth!! “Seek and you shall find”. Hallelujah!!!!

  7. sitsathisfeet says:

    Yes to question one Son of God fulfills us within our deepest meaning, and yes to question 2. We all were at some point enemies of God, for we were born in sin through Adam and Eve our first parents. We did not “know” God intimately as he should be known, and we did not have a relationship with him. Now some of us may have known him as a young child or babe, and some of us much later. I’ve been reading in Acts and it is so interesting that Paul and Apollos both made such strong and convincing arguements for the Gospel. It says of Apollos (Acts 18:28) For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ…. And Paul also In Acts17:27-28 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring. I also agree with what the others in the blog have said that the Holy Spirit is the instrument used to draw us to God. And our prayer also should be that more people would hear and believe, and that we can be vessels that God can use for his purposes in this and other things. I peeked ahead in ODB, don’t miss it. Is Jesus coming to your celebration of his birthday? Really great!

  8. poohpity says:

    Woooo! I am telling you peeked. I bet you peek at your presents too!!:) lol!!!

  9. wretch-like-me says:

    I would add this element to the analogy of being aksed to sit in one of the two chairs. It would be important for me to know WHO this person is that is asking me to sit. Do we have a history of trust?

    (On the other hand, how many of us go thru all the tests before we enter an elevator or step on an airplane? We take some things for granted dont we?)

    Poohpity, I am with you about the Holy Spirit. He is as Christ said the One who comes to teach and remind us of events both in scripture and the world around us. He is our helper in many ways including being convicted by the Word. (I believe this is the only unforgiveable sin failing to respond to the Spirit when He shows us our sin and the way of Salvation.
    Resistance is Futile…and FATAL!!!)

    Personally, I resisted until I was 30 and only surrendered after plugging every possible alternative into the void I felt. The only solution to my empty life was Christ Jesus, My King.

    Each of us will be tested in our Faith. Some of us test the faith before accepting…others are tested after. Remember the parable about the Sower and Seeds?

    So, to Marti’s questions, I respond without hesitation YES, YES, YES!!!

    Reminds me of another praise Hymn.
    Yes, Lord; Yes, Lord; Yes,Yes, Lord!!!

    PS I have been known to shake a few presents and check for ‘possible tears in the wrapping’, too…LOL

  10. macsisson22 says:

    SFDBWV, It is difficult to read from a blog and interperate what others are saying without hearing the tonations and seeing the facial expressions.

    I did not intend for my post to be a challenge, but an answer to the questions that Mart posed. After rereading my post I can see how it may have appeard so.

    I too am at a point in my faith that allows me a level of comfort in my belief and I can, and do watch the TV specials in order that I may give an answer to those that are drawn further astray.

    It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring others to faith, but it is our commission to make sure that others here a message relevent to their need.

    With all the knowledge of Christ the Creator and His creation that I have aquired over the years I feel more like a Child than when I had first believed, and it is that type of faith which the Lord requires :).

  11. macsisson22 says:

    Thanks, Poohpity; and the same to you. And amen to askin who’s askin wretch!

  12. poohpity says:

    Hokey?? No it is not hokey it is real, been there too!!:)
    We have a God that is very alive and just waits for a time when we are quite to feel and know He is present. That is a present He can not wait to give to us to open. :)

    I still feel like a child when it comes to God too! Isn’t it wonderful all one goes through and still our hearts can be softened enough by God to feel like a child in His arms.

  13. sitsathisfeet says:

    Amen poohpity. Yes sister you caught me ha, lol with you. We’ve had a funny experience today we set out our donations for the carh truck coming around tomorrow. It was a table, a chair, a shower rod, bag of dishes and pans, a wok, etc. Large plastic container of clothes, a small working TV, a bike with flat tires my son outgrew, a game etc. Well, first the recycle robbers came and took all the metal and plastic including the wok and dishes. He also took the bike. I happened to open the door as I was still bringing stuff out. The two of them looked like scared rabbits and stopped, froze and looked up. I said Help yourself take whatever you want I’m donating it anyway. And then I asked if one of them would help me move the table out. One of them left immediately, no help there. They other said I’ll come back in 25 minutes. I said it’s Ok I’ll just slide and drag it. Well she helped a little, got it down the stairs, and then let go in the middle of the yard. I continued to drag it to the curb, she nodded and said yes that was better! Next the neighbor came, I didn’t know, saw the bin of clothes was gone, it was large, like trunk size, and I only saw them go around the corner, one carrying the lid – but, they left the TV. Next I took a nap, and when I woke up to see how long I slept, looked to the light outside the TV and shower rod were gone, and now only the game, table and chair were left! I’m not sure if anything will be left for the “donation”, but it’s alright. But it was funny to see the items picked up, and I was thinking that it was kind of like the kingdom of God. The recycle robbers the first to come might be like sinners and tax collectors of Jesus day and others who were so eager and ready to receive. But, also like some others when asked to commit, went away, or said just let me bury my father (I’ll be back in 25) The one who came and kind of “snuck” away, like Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night. And I thought how the Lord is pleased, and tickled when we accept the gifts of the kingdom, one by one. Oh maybe I’m just too much in the spirit. But, you know I have lived in a lot of places, and moved many, many times and the Lord’s hand has been so evident in this move everytime we need something it has been provided, as my daughter, son and I were remarking.

  14. poohpity says:


    Cool analogies! It is great how your children see His provision and kudos to as a mom for helping them focus on the things of God!! Even if you do peek ahead. lol

  15. drkennyg says:

    Sorry I got here very late today but I’m here – great!! I also came to know Christ late in life and I am amazed at how much He had already written on my heart. All that was needed was for me to see and feel. There have been many periods of doubt (?) or need for some kind of evidence. But usually not. If no evidence I find then I rely on my faith that Jesus is the Christ and is the Son of God and is the only way to heaven. He died for our sins; faith in Him alone and the Resurrection are all I need. Basically just the basics, if you will. The more I learn the better it is for me even when it leads to a puzzlement for a time.

  16. BruceC says:

    I can look anyone in the eye and clearly state that yes; Jesus Christ does fulfill my meaning for existence and the ‘whys” of life. And that the joy, peace, and hope is given me inwardly by the Holy Spirit. Given to me in a way that this world and all the things therein cannot give me; nor can it understand. I attended Sunday School as a little child and out of the simple faith of a child trusted Christ and the Word of God. I don’t know how to explain that but it happened; that I accepted it all as truth and would not be swayed. When I was older(in my early twenties)I publicly professed Christ as my Lord and Saviour and was baptized. All during my walk with Christ all that I have learned was always backed-up with scripture as a form of testing so-to-speak. There are many in this world that are continuously asking questions and seemingly never satisfied with the answers. Almost like living in a continual state of confusion. I don’t think that you could ever convince this type of the Bible’s credibility. Planting a seed, watering another’s seed, telling them the Gospel and the way to salvation, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the rest is really all that we need to do most of the time. There are those special ministries that will debate or prove their stance in very detailed ways and there is a real purpose for them. But for me I just keep it simple. It’s therefore hard for me to relate to those who always seek proof first as I was really never there. However I can point them to those who may have the answers they seek.
    At this time I would like to say that may everyone here and their families have a wonderful Christmas and may our Lord pour out His blessings upon you and make Himself very real to all who may have experienced a weak time of faith and may He use us all mightily for His Kingdom and for reaching the lost who are walking in darkness.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    God bless you Bruce C. I only add “Amen” to your comment.

    I thought the topic would have changed by this time today, But since it hasn’t.

    I wish all a very merry Christmas.


  18. Mart De Haan says:

    As so many of us are aware, the New Testament letter to the Galatians says, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (children). And because you are sons (children), God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

    Because the idea of Jesus “fulfilling the law and prophets” is the foundation for him being able to give us fullness of meaning, life, love, and hope, I just revised the post’s list of what Jesus fulfilled. Sensed that it was a bit too sketchy before.

    Hope the clarification makes it a bit easier to absorb. If not, let me know and I’ll work on it some more.

    Am so thankful for the conversations and community that you are forming and want to make sure that I keep throwing wood on the fire…. :-).

  19. refump says:

    One of the things I love about this blog is the many great but different perspectives each has to share. I can get “locked” into a certain way of thinking about the subject & along comes a post from another way of viewing the subject that causes me to stop & rethink mine. Some can quickly sit in the chair with little or no examination while others need to pick it up it give a good going over before we can sit in it. One way is not more biblical than the other, just different. When I was twenty something I was struggling with making my parents God my own personal God & ask God for a sign. I open my bible & happened upon the scripture where Jesus chided the Pharisees for asking a sign from him. It got me thinking about how small my faith was & that the faith that comes because of sign is usually short lived. Do we need a sign each time our faith seems to show weakness or is there so much more to faith than the proofs of fulfillment of prophesies? or did God know in our weakness these signs would serve as a reminder or jumping off point to revive our faith & “foundation for him being to be able to give us fullness of meaning, life, love, and hope”?

  20. poohpity says:

    Sometimes when someone is brought up in a religion they have to confront what has been taught 1 John 4:1. Then they will know the truth for themselves. So it is OK to test what has been taught to come to a saving faith.

  21. plumbape says:

    Mart I can certainly say yes to both quetions. I don’t comment much because I’m still learning and I’m a person who has been tricked before so to speak. I grew up around Little Italy (Cisero in Chicago), must people I knew were criminals. They also call themselves Catholic. My old friend told me after coming out of church how it was great being catholic so you could have your sins forgiven every week and start all over again. It didn’t sound right to me but at the time it was “to each his own”. I was in Boys Town in Omaha for awhile and it is ran by the catholic faith, honestly I didn’t see God any where within miles of my life, but he was there in looking back or I would be dead a long time ago. I feel I needed to experience those aspects in life so when I started seeking the Lord he would be able to use me in ways some folks would not feel comfortable at all.
    DMG> Father Flannagan who started Boy’s Town said there is no such thing as a bad boy! lol He might have revised that in todays society.
    I couldn’t understand how everyone was talking about the same Jesus at Christmas but it seemed to me after that there was all these different issues. There may be some of the same issues in the church we go to in Indy but I don’t notice them. My 3 kids work for or are in some way involved with the church so I’m sure I would hear about it. The more I learn the more I want to learn and share it with people in the hood that look at me like you’ve got to be kidding, lol, I smile and hope maybe it will get them thinking about it later.
    I watched the Discovery program the other day. I had just finished the Christian course The DeVinci Code Fact or Fiction. I salute you Mart and RBC efforts with the on going battles against this worlds evil attempts to deceive the people about the Holy Word of God.
    All you wonderful folks here are a huge inspiration, God Bless and Merry Christmas!

  22. poohpity says:


    Thank you for your story. My son is dating a young woman who is Catholic and it is causing problems in their future plans for marriage and I have no clue how to advise. The only thing I can say is read your bible and maybe together you both can study and God will be the best adviser.

  23. magdalake says:

    Even thou I wasn’t a Christian, I believed in JESUSCHRIST. I knew there was this power that was always there,but I never gave me a chance to know him. Now that I am a Christian,there’s NOTHING in this world that can change my mind to let go of HIM. Like JESUS says, “I AM THE TRUTH, THE WAY, AND LIFE”. He’s everything that we should be wanting; besides HIM there’s nothing. Now I am learning to listen to HIM even when I don’t agree, because I know HE loves me and will never forsake me no matter what. My Soul Praises You, JESUS! Hallelujah!!!

  24. bdun87 says:

    hey all well im 21 i’ve been a christian for along time nowsince i was alittle kid. i was going to a baptist church before i got saved then i went to a word of life camp about when i was 11 or 12 i’ve was going to that church for years thats the church i got baptised with was best friends w/ the ministers kid and real close with the family. We hit a rough spot me and my mom w/ that church so we went to lighthouse christian center which is a high end penticostal church. which was a complete change for me i was 17 by this tiime well with all of this going on i was attending a private christain school which was non denominational but was in the path of the mennonites those were the ones who ran the school and were teachers pretty much. and i say all that to say this. there all churches and pratice christianality; but you would be surprise how much these “christian” have differnet pratices and beliefs even though were all reading the same book(the Bible). 1. the penticostals speak in toungues and believe that that the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) are all one being. I did kinda grow accustom to it cause there are versus were it is sounding like they are all one being and others being 3 seprate believings. And it has been hard growing up the past couple years cause i would say 20 n 21 i have been w/o a church cause all these differences have kinda had an affect n ppl i have tried to talk to this have been very judgemental like “oh ur sure ur a christian and your saved? I don’t see how a true christian would change churches and be going to an mennonite school n pentecoastal church.” and its very hard cause i don[t have that “family” at church were i can rely on support n that. I know i believe there is a God and that He sent His son to die on the cross for us, so that we could be with Him one day in Heaven. I’ve the Bible front to back n still try to read it. but idk what to do ppl r like u gotta find a church u gotta go to church. I’m not saying i don’t wanna go to church but going to church doesn’t make u a christian and there are alot of “sunday christians” out there. I’ve thought about going to my old pastor the one who i was bffs w/ his son n close w/ him n his family cause they were like family to me and talking to him n sitting down in his office, cause in all honesty that is where i flet at home most and fit in best as a person. so idk sum advice/support/scrutiney would be helpful, thanks

  25. Mart De Haan says:

    bdun87, from what you’ve said, I’d encourage you to go back to the pastor who’s family you were so close to. I’ll bet he’d be so happy to see you and may be able to give you some helpful feed-back and encouragement.

  26. dan_mihm says:

    Im still new to the bible i guess, i re-found God only about a year ago, and have strived to become a much better person and let God into my life.

    I started reading Isaiah tonight, only the first 2 chapters, but somehow i am finding a “hint” towards revelation. Am i reading this right?

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