Life, Hope & Truth

Daniel’s Prophecies: Proof of God’s Existence

We live in a skeptical world where many think that God doesn’t exist and the Bible is not true. But specific prophecies provide evidence for God and the Bible.

The Bible is the most influential book in the world, and millions of copies are sold every year. Yet skeptics today are questioning its accuracy and validity. Are there proofs of the Bible? Yes! And many of these proofs also provide powerful evidence that God exists.

God claims prophecy is a proof He is God

Isaiah, one of the most well-known prophets of God, recorded a prophecy that deals with God’s contending with Israel over their worship of idols―gods of Israel’s own making (Isaiah 44:9-20).

In this section we also find the following passage where God shows that prophecy―which often includes God’s announcement of future events―is a proof that He is God and not these pagan gods:

“‘Present your case,’ says the LORD. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob. ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yes, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, and your work is nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination’” (Isaiah 41:21-24).

There are many books and passages of prophecy in the Bible. The book of Daniel contains the most detailed and astounding fulfilled prophecies that demonstrate the Bible is true and can be trusted. As a result, these prophecies help prove the absolute existence of the God who gave them.

The book of Daniel is also one of the most interesting and controversial in the Bible. It contains prophecies that are so precise that some who do not believe that God foretells the future cannot believe it was written in the sixth century B.C. Because of that, they do not believe it was really written by Daniel but claim it is a pious fraud written in the 160s B.C.

But the book clearly claims it was written by Daniel, who was taken captive from Jerusalem and wrote for many years during the sixth century B.C. Scholars such as Gleason L. Archer Jr. point out many linguistic and historical reasons to accept the authenticity of Daniel, as well as the flaws in the theories for a late date for the book (A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 1974, pp. 379-403). Note, too, that Ezekiel, who was also taken captive by the Babylonians, mentions Daniel as a righteous man along with Noah and Job (Ezekiel 14:14).

If the book of Daniel were a fraud, the Jews would not have accepted it as Scripture. And Jesus Christ also accepted Daniel. He authoritatively quoted “Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15), giving the ultimate Christian stamp of approval to his authenticity.

In this article we will see that the book of Daniel is a very inspiring book because of its fulfilled prophecies as well as its announcement that in the end God will establish His wonderful Kingdom.

Prophecy 1: Alexander the Great

An amazing prophecy in the book of Daniel is found in Daniel 8. Daniel saw a vision of a powerful ram that had pushed westward, northward and southward. Suddenly, from the west a goat with one large horn ran at the ram “with furious power” and “trampled him” (verses 5-7). Then the large horn was broken and four notable ones came up in its place (verse 8).

Daniel was given the meaning of the vision in verses 20-22: “The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.”

Biblical scholars recognize that the large horn from the kingdom of Greece is referring to Alexander the Great, its most powerful ruler. He rapidly conquered the Medo-Persian Empire and formed the Greco-Macedonian Empire. After Alexander died unexpectedly with no heirs, his kingdom was divided up among four of his generals into four different regions. A similar reference is made to Alexander the Great in Daniel 11:3-4.

John Gill, referring to Daniel 8:20-22 in his commentary, mentions the four-part division of Alexander’s kingdom: “Ptolemy was king of Egypt, to which belonged Lybia, Palestine, Arabia, and Caelesyria. Cassander was king of Macedonia and Greece. Lysimachus was king of Asia, to which belonged Thrace, Bithynia, and other places; and Seleucus was king of Syria, and of the eastern countries.”

Here is an accurate prediction of what would happen more than 200 years after Daniel recorded this prophecy. Remember, the book of Daniel was probably completed by 530 B.C., and this fourfold division of Alexander’s empire occurred about 323 B.C. This would be like someone predicting World War II in 1730!

God is the One who controls the future of this world and has the power to foretell future events.

Prophecy 2: The Abomination of Desolation

The prophecy about Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrating God’s temple is very specific and was written hundreds of years before it happened.

Daniel 11:28-31 says: “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land. At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.”

Jesus Christ refers to this prophecy in Matthew 24:15, where he speaks specifically of “Daniel the prophet” foretelling the “abomination of desolation.” Historically, this is referring to Antiochus IV who attacked Jerusalem around 169 B.C. This ruler of the Seleucid Empire was descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary states: “Antiochus IV (175-164 B.C.), surnamed Epiphanes (God manifest) but called by his Jewish enemies Epimanes (madman). Antiochus IV was one of the cruelest rulers of all time. Like his father, Antiochus III the Great, he was enterprising and ambitious; however, he had a tendency to cruelty that bordered on madness. His primary aim—to unify his empire by spreading Greek civilization and culture—brought him into direct conflict with the Jews. This conflict broke into open rebellion in 167 B.C. Accounts of these conflicts are found in the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees. The revolt began with Antiochus’ edict that sought to unite all the peoples of his kingdom in religion, law, and custom. The Jews were the only people who would not adhere to this edict. Antiochus issued regulations against observing the Sabbath, practicing circumcision, and keeping all food laws. These regulations were followed by the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ (Dan. 11:31)—the desecration of the altar of the burnt offering in the Temple in Jerusalem. Jews were forced to participate in heathen festivities and were put to death if they were caught with the Book of the Law in their possession” (“Antiochus,” emphasis added).

The accuracy of Daniel’s description of these events is not disputed. The temple was desecrated by Antiochus IV. This prophecy is strong evidence that the Bible is true and that there is a God who controls the destiny of mankind. Read more about this in our article “Abomination of Desolation: What Is It?

Prophecy 3: The Roman Empire

Another amazing prophecy of Daniel concerns the coming of the Roman Empire. In Daniel 2 and 7 God reveals to Daniel that there will be four great world-ruling kingdoms that impact the people of God before the coming of God’s Kingdom.

Daniel 2:40 says: “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.”

The identity of this fourth kingdom is a problem for those who dispute the authenticity of Daniel.

Here is a prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled, and yet it is the most important of all. Humanity will not totally destroy itself and this planet. God is going to set up a kingdom that will last forever.According to those who don’t believe the book was written by Daniel, it was written in the second century B.C. However, the last empire prophesied is widely understood to be the Roman Empire, and it is described as being more powerful and stronger than the others.

Even if those who propose a late date were correct, the book of Daniel would still be prophetic by accurately predicting the coming of a fourth kingdom that would “crush all the others.” The Roman Empire didn’t conquer Syria and Palestine until around 65 B.C. This is still 100 years after the time liberal scholars suppose the book of Daniel was written.

The Roman Empire was greater, stronger and lasted longer than the previous empires. Skeptics have no explanation for the accuracy of this prediction! The obvious conclusion is that the book of Daniel was written by someone who had been given supernatural revelation of a framework of future events.

For God, foretelling events 500 years into the future is no harder than predicting 100 years. All of these fulfilled prophecies help confirm that the book of Daniel was not a fraud but truly was written by Daniel in the sixth century B.C. as it claims.

Prophecy 4: The Kingdom of God

Daniel 2:44 states: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”

Here is a prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled, and yet it is the most important of all. Humanity will not totally destroy itself and this planet. God is going to set up a kingdom that will last forever. It will consume all revivals of the evil systems and self-serving human governments that exist at the return of Jesus Christ.

This prophecy brings hope to a world that is so negative and combative. Wars will end (Micah 4:3); animals will have their nature changed (Isaiah 11:6-9); and the deserts of the earth will become fruitful fields (Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 35:1-7). What mankind has been seeking for thousands of years will finally come to pass—a time of just rulers, improved weather conditions and healing of the sick and afflicted.

As this article has demonstrated, prophecy is indeed a proof of God’s existence and the accuracy of His book, the Holy Bible. We can have confidence that in the end, the Kingdom of God will be established and an entirely new world will come.

Read more about the proof of the existence of God in the articles in the section “Is There a God?” and explore more proof of the Bible in the section “Is the Bible True?” To learn more about the book of Daniel, see the section “Understanding the Book of Daniel.”

About the Author

Bill Jahns

Bill Jahns

Bill Jahns graduated from Ambassador College in 1969, and he has worked full time in the ministry since then. Presently, he serves with the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, pastoring congregations in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Athens-Parkersburg, Ohio.

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