The Prophet Says What The Lord Said
The prophets were spokesmen for the Lord. They spoke to the people on behalf of God. The Lord said to Moses,
I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him .
The prophets said what the Lord said. The Old Testament prophets spoke the words of God. God told Ezekiel,
You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious .
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy? .
Balaam the prophet said,
Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the Lord may speak to me. And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam .
The biblical prophets unanimously testified that the words they spoke were not their own but were ultimately derived from the Lord.
Who Is The Great Prophet Of The Old Testament
Who was the greatest of the Old Testament prophets? Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah? In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul makes his case for a figure that might surprise us.
Sometimes I like to torment my seminary students by asking them a question that tends to drive them to distraction. I ask the question, In your opinion, who would you say is the greatest prophet in the Old Testament? And that will usually start a debate. Some will say Elijah, some will say Jeremiah, some will say Isaiah, and people will mention their favorite. Then I say, Well, I think that the most important prophet in the Old Testament is John the Baptist. And then they look at me with consternation and say, Well thatshow can that be? John the Baptist is in the New Testament. And Ill say, Yes, John the Baptist is mentioned and recorded in the pages of the book called the New Testament. But in terms of redemptive history, he belongs to the period of the Old Testamentthat is, to that period in redemptive history when all of the procedures of the old covenant are still in place. Jesus says that the law and the prophets ruled until John, and the little word there, until, means up to and including John. And Jesus also said of John the Baptist, Of all of those who are born of woman, there is none greater than John the Baptist. Yet, He said, he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than John.
Testing Prophets And Prophecies
Paul said, Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds . Spiritual fruit will indeed accompany the people of God .
However, God also allows Satan to appear as an angel of light who deceives the whole world . Because of this, we must remember that signs and wonders are evidence of something supernatural, but not necessarily proof that the prophet is genuinely sent from God.
Any demonstration of supernatural signs and wonders must be paired with Isaiahs caution, To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them . The apostles met these criteria, so their words in the Bible hold the same weight of truth as the words of any of the other prophets.
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Order Of The Prophets
If we check the Hebrew Bible, we will notice that its order of books is different from what we have in English Bibles. This difference in order does not alter the contents or inspirational teachings of each book, but it does provide an interesting perspective.
Following is the order of the books in the Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible:
b. Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Joshua and Judges spoke of the history just after the time of Moses. Samuel and Kings continued with the story of the nation of Israel, often through the perspective of prophets.
Isaiah was written just before and during the Assyrian invasion. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were written during the Babylonian captivity.
The 12 Minor Prophets are generally arranged in chronological order:
a. Hosea through Nahum were written during the Assyrian period.
b. Habakkuk and Zephaniah were written during the Chaldean period.
c. Haggai through Malachi were written in the postexilic or restoration period.
The Minor Prophets were written by 12 different prophets over a period of about 350 years but are regarded as one book. Approximate dates are from the beginning of the eighth century B.C. to about 430 B.C. .
Some may wonder why the books of Daniel and Chronicles were not included in the Prophets section. In the Hebrew Bible both Daniel and Chronicles were included in the Writings section and not in the Prophets.
What Are Prophets In The Bible Do Prophets Still Exist Today
A prophet receives messages from God, mainly concerning events that will take place in the future, and conveys them to a certain group of people or singular person, whom God intends to hear the delivered message.
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No one can leaf through Scripture without encountering a prophet in the Old and New Testament. From Ezekiel to John the Baptist, these messengers of God appear in just about every part of the Bible.
Why do they play such an important role? What role exactly do they play? And do they still exist in the world today, or did they cease to play a part after the New Testament?
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No One Was Allowed To Change Even One Word
The people were commanded not to change even one word that God had revealed to them. The Lord said to Moses.
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you .
Consequently the people were given no authority to originate Scripture. They were ordered to keep the commandments that the LORD had given. This implies their ability to exactly identify those commandments to which they were to be obedient.
Some Of The Writings Were Preserved
The writings of the prophets were to be preserved. They were placed in the tabernacle and then later in the temple. They were to be preserved for future generations. Moses said to the people,
Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged .
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How Many Prophets Are In The Bible
prophet in the BibleProphets in the Old TestamentNoahAbrahamJacobJosephMosesAaronMiriamEldad and MedadBalaamElihuJoshuaDeborahGideonSamuelSaulNathanDavidAsaphmany othersSolomonAgurAhijahElijahMicaiahJehoshaphatElishaAthaliahJonahIsaiahJeremiahthe weeping prophetbook of LamentationsDanielEzekielâsProphets in the New TestamentZechariahElizabethAnnaJohnPhilipPaulPeterAgabusJohn the apostletwo witnessesFalse prophetslying spiritSimonfalse prophet
Prophets Of The Bible
God sent prophets throughout history to guide and warn His people. As often happens with humans, they turned their backs and didnt follow the instructions and warnings. God even said via the mouth of Jeremiah the prophet, “Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. Christ’s followers would do well to listen and obey what is spoken by the Lord in the Bible.
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Even Kings Must Obey The Prophets
The Scripture also commanded how the king was to relate to Scripture:
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees .
This passage was written about five hundred years before Israel had its first king. The Law of Moses anticipated the office of the king and commanded how the king should view the written Word of God. While the king had authority by which he could put to death anyone whom he desired he was not allowed to tamper with the Scripture. He, like everyone else, was to be under the authority of the written Word of God.
Prophecies About The Present
The prophets often contrast Gods past kindness and provision for Israel to the nations disloyalty to him and unkindness to each other in the present. The prophets often build a case on Gods behalf, citing current issues like:
- Israel worshiping the gods of other nations
- Israel showing more confidence in other nations militaries than in their God
- Israels rich citizens oppressing the poor
- Israels corrupt justice systems
- World nations violently taking attacking other nations
- Kings considering themselves gods
Prophets call out these wrongdoings, urging people to return to the teachings of Moses. If the people dont turn from their ways, then prophets often warn them of what lies ahead
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Revisiting The Reluctant Prophets Of The Bible
“Why me? Can’t you get someone else?”
You would think the great prophets of the Bible were willing, ready and able when God called them to their mission. But almost all of them were really hoping God would pick someone else for the job.
Jonah is probably the best example. God called him to preach to the people of Ninevah, the capital city of Assyria. Scripture says, “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish .”
Clearly he didn’t want the job, probably because the Assyrians were notorious for their cruelty to their enemies and Jonah feared he would be tortured for daring to predict their doom. As most know, he was swallowed by a whale and ended up completing his assigned task.
Moses was called by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. But when God appeared to Moses and told him his mission, Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you.”
So was that enough for Moses? No — more complaints and excuses.
“O Lord, I have never been eloquent … I am slow of speech and tongue … Please send someone else to do it.”
God was clearly annoyed, but appointed Aaron, Moses’ brother, to be his spokesperson.
Gideon was also called to deliver the Israelites from bondage to their Midianite overlords. The Angel of the Lord paid him a visit and told Gideon he was chosen by God for the mission.
God doesn’t need people who have it all together. He needs people who are willing to serve.
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What About Christ And The Apostles
The book of Hebrews explains that while God had spoken through the prophets in the Old Testament, He had more recently, in these last days, spoken through His Son . We also see in Revelation 1:1 one way God revealed messages for us. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servantsthings which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.
In the New Testament we see Jesus using those He had trained to reveal His truth and messages to the Church.
The apostles were witnesses to the power and glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For example, Peter personally witnessed Jesus glory during His transfiguration. Because of this vision, Peter explained that we did not follow cunningly devised fables of men , but had received the prophetic word confirmed .
Continuing, Peter explained that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation and that prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit .
In making these statements, the apostle teaches that the truths which the prophets communicated were not originated by themselves were not of their own suggestion or invention were not their own opinions, but were of higher origin, and were imparted by God .
Prophets In Ancient Israel
From the Bible comes the impression that Israels prophetic movement began with Samuel, who actually had three titles: judge, seer, and prophet . Prior to Samuel the Bible names a few individuals as prophets or prophetesses: Abraham Miriam and Deborah and most importantly Moses, whom Deuteronomy calls prophet par excellence . These references are now taken by many to be anachronistic, as in their time none were called prophet. From the Bible we learn also that prophets in this early period were ecstatic in behavior , similar to but not precisely the same as the prophets of Baal in the 9th century .
Deuteronomy betrays a clear influence of Israels prophets, with some earlier scholars having called it a prophetic law book. The reasons are clear. Much legislation and ethical teaching in the book find parallels in the preaching of Amos and Hosea, particularly the latter, and at the end of the book is the Song of Moses , which is a prophetic poem through and through. Deuteronomy attributes this work to Moses, but it is likely of unknown provenance, written by some author after Israels settlement in Canaan.
In the time of Samuel, prophet had come to replace seer . Samuel was a seer, as was Davids prophet Gad . Amaziah, the resident priest at Bethel, dismissed Amos as a seer, but Amos rejected both this title and prophet, stating that he was a shepherd whom Yahweh had called to prophesy .
Prophets without Title
Prophets of the Early Monarchy
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How God Reveals Himself
There are several ways God reveals His will to humans:
- Through messages He gives to His prophets by direct communication, visions or dreams or as delivered by angels.
- Through direct signs and miracles.
- Through His written Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.
- Through the influence of the Holy Spirit on the individual Christians mind and heart.
The reason God communicates with humans is because He has a plan that continues to be carried out. He explains, For I am God, and there is no other I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure .
In the New Testament, Paul explained that God reveals His mysteries to His prophets by revelation through the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit speaks expressly or clearly regarding this information from God .
God announced to the Israelites how He would speak through prophets saying, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision I speak to him in a dream .
The prophet Jeremiah stated, Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: Behold, I have put My words in your mouth . This principle of God providing the message and the prophet or prophetess then delivering it as Gods messenger is the standard process throughout the Bible.