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Doctrine of Prophets (OT)

Doctrine of Prophets—Old Testament

I. Old Testament
A. Introduction
1. Most all of the writings of the Old Testament are from the hand of prophets and often include information about the prophet in the time in which he wrote.
2. The office of prophet was given to a number of the biggest names in Old Testament History.
3. The prophet was a man of God; Moses (Deut. 33:1); anonymous (1 Sam. 2:27); Samuel 1 Sm. 9:9-15.
4. The prophet was a man of the Word of God—as if from the mouth of the LORD—Is. 4:1-6

Is. 40:5b For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

B. Abraham is called a prophet by God in Gen. 20:7.

Gen. 20:7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.”
C. Moses
1. Moses was raised up by the LORD to become a prophet (Dt. 18:15-19) and the premier prophet (34:10).

Deut. 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
Deut. 18:16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
Deut. 18:17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good.
Deut. 18:18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
Deut. 18:19 If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.
These are words that the LORD gave Moses to tell to the people:
a. Vs. 15 The Lord would raise up a prophet for the people—He would select him. The people are to listen to the prophet.
b. Vs. 16 The people could not handle that kind of communication directly so they wanted someone in-between them and God. The LORD said that is good.
c. Vs. 18 The LORD would communicate directly to the prophet—put words in his mouth and the prophet in turn would speak to them.
d. The people were to be held accountable for listening to the prophet.

2. Moses was the premier prophet:

Deut. 34:10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

Deut. 34:11 who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land.

3. Remember that Moses was called at the burning bush (Ex. 3:1-10).

Ex. 3:10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

D. Duties of the Prophet
1. The prophet would stand before kings and the people tell them God’s word and will.
1. Moses to Pharaoh and the Israelites. 2. Foreign people— Jonah to Nineveh.
2. Basically, the prophet would communicate God’s word to whomever God wanted it communicated to. We also have the writings of the prophets that became part of the canon of Scripture.
3. The prophet was a forthteller— He spoke forth the Word of God.
4. He was also a foreteller—he predicted what would happen. He saw into the future. They did this often as warning—Amos 1:1-4. Warnings of judgments are throughout the prophetic writings.
5. The LORD tells Isaiah:

Is. 30:8 ¶ Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come
it may be an everlasting witness.
Is. 30:9 ¶ These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’S instruction.
Is. 30:10 ¶ They say to the seers,
“See no more visions !” and to the prophets,
“Give us no more visions of what is right! ¶ Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.
Is. 30:11 ¶ Leave this way, get off this path,
and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”

Is. 30:15 ¶ This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
¶ “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
E. The last and greatest prophet of the Old Testament period was John the Baptist.
1. What Jesus said:

Matt. 11:7 ¶ As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Matt. 11:8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.
Matt. 11:9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Matt. 11:10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
Matt. 11:11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Explanation: He is saying those who go into the Phase One kingdom of heaven (began with Jesus’ first coming) are greater in the sense that they have the Holy Spirit, his power —his enablement to live the Christian life— gifted by the Holy Spirit—but they will experience and be able to witness and live at a level than the OT prophets never experienced. They will be under a new covenant, a superior covenant—enabled by the power of God the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. The Holy Spirit John the Baptist spoke about—the Holy Spirit by which Christ would baptize—We have been baptized by that same Holy Spirit.

Though it true that the OT prophets received direct revelation from God and at times did miracles— we have God the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity in us right now—and we have the entire Word of God in writing. We are able to live at another level—we move up to first class seating—more privileges but more responsibility. Each one of us represent Christ every day and every moment.

All of us have the complete written word of God—even the prophets did not have that. Listen to what the prophets thought about our time—the era we live in—

1Pet. 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
1Pet. 1:11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
1Pet. 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

2. What John’s father Zacharias prophesied:

Luke 1:76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
Luke 1:77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,

These two lines give us John the Baptist’s mission and message: He was the prophet of the Most High. He was to precede the LORD—to prepare the way for Him. That would involve his announcing that the LORD was coming, that the people needed to get ready.

3. John the Baptist was the greatest of prophets because of his message and mission.
a. His message:

Matt. 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Luke 3:3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;

4. His mission:

Luke 3:1 ¶ Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
Luke 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
Luke 3:4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

5. John the Baptist pointed forward to the Messiah:

Matt. 3:11 ¶ “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.