Volume. XXVI, No. 29
Sunday, 15 January 2012


Of the Prophetic Office of Christ


 

Man has a natural curiosity and a deep desire to know the unknown, and to seek out knowledge pertaining to the future that would bring  them spiritual or material benefits. Just imagine, wouldn\'t it be great to know what the stock market will do over the next ten years or how the Aussie dollar will do against the US dollar in the next 10 months? Wouldn’t it be great to know what companies will excel in growth and profit so that we could buy shares of the respective companies and make a profit? This is partly the reason why over the years many sincere but gullible people have joined doomsday cults like Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians, The People’s Temple and so on. Because those poor souls believed that they were following someone who could provide them with the ultimate knowledge of the world of the unknown. Our Lord tells us that in the latter days “there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt 24:24)

In contrast to false prophets, what is a true prophet from a biblical perspective? A prophet is someone who reveals God, speaks for God, and communicates to people the truths that God wants them to know. Henceforth, a prophet is not merely someone who provides us knowledge about the future or someone who can help us gain good fortune, but someone who reveals God, speaks for God and says what God wants him to say.

According to the Jews, Moses was without doubt the greatest prophet who ever lived, but there was a greater Prophet that God promised to send to His people in the latter days. In fact, all the prophets who went before Him would merely be types or precursors of this Great Prophet. This promise was given in the passage we have just read from Deuteronomy 18:15-18. This was the same prophecy quoted by Peter in Acts 3:22-23 which is undeniably in reference to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who has fulfilled this prophecy. Peter says, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” The context of Acts 3:22 is clear that it is speaking of none other than Jesus Christ, not any other self-proclaimed false prophet in the past or today.

If this is the case, does Jesus Christ qualify to be this Prophet? If so, what is His work as a Prophet on earth and in heaven? And what does this mean to us Christians today?

What is the “the Necessity” and “the Nature” of the Prophetic Office?

The necessity: the fall

Since a prophet is someone who reveals God, speaks for God, and communicates to people the truths that God wants them to know, he is, therefore, God\'s mouthpiece and speaks only what he has heard by inspiration from God (Jer 1:9; Isa 6:5-10; John 8:26), or what God has shown him by vision or dream (Num 12:6; John 5:19-20). But why do we need a prophet to speak for God? Can’t God speak to His creatures directly? Unfortunately, this was no longer possible after the fall. Man, being created in the image and after the likeness of God, was, from the very constitution of his intelligent being, made capable of receiving direct communications of the will and good pleasure of his heavenly Creator.

This is why, in the Garden of Eden, God walked and talked with Adam, instructed him in the knowledge of His will, and set before him a precept of what to do, and a prohibition of what to shun. Genesis 2:16, 17 says, “ 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Therefore, in this state of innocence and happiness there was no need of a prophet to speak for God to man, as the Lord Himself communed directly and immediately with him as the pure and intelligent creature of His hand! But when Adam sinned and fell, this mode of direct and immediate communion between man and his Maker was immediately cut off!

The Nature: Speaks for God

In Old Testament times God spoke to men through prophets chosen by Him. Hebrews 1:1 says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Through the Holy Spirit, God gave those prophets the very words that they spoke to men on His behalf. Peter says, “…For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet 1: 21). Again, I want to emphasize that a prophet is to speak exactly what God wants him to say without any form of compromise.

God told Jeremiah, "But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak…Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth." (Jer 1:7,9). In our day and age, there is a lot of pressure from within and without for servants of the Lord and teachers of God’s Word to speak according to man’s wishes and preferences. My dear brethren: if we are in a position to preach or teach God’s Word, we should never succumb to pressure.

In the early church there were also prophets through whom the Holy Spirit revealed God’s plan to save man through Christ by the gospel (Eph 3:5,6). The Bible also says that the Spirit edified the church through those first-century prophets (1 Cor 14:3). These prophets left us a tremendous example. For they spoke to God’s people according to what God wanted them to say as the Spirit filled them. However, the greatest prophet of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Over 1400 years before Jesus’ birth, Moses prophesied of Him in Deuteronomy 18:15: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” and again in verse 18, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” It is God’s will that all men today hear Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son who is the greatest Prophet God has ever sent to mankind. Matthew 17:5b “…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” For the Father speaks to us by His Son in the latter days, the author of Hebrews says in Hebrews 1:2. Both Deuteronomy 18:19,20 and Acts 3:22,23 tell us that one who refuses to listen to and follow this Great Prophet shall be destroyed. Jesus Christ, as a true and ultimate spokesman for God, taught only the message of the Father. He said, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me . . . I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him . . . the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me" (John 7:16; 8:26; 14:24).

It is God’s desire that you hear His Son’s gracious words. He is calling unto all men everywhere so that man may repent and be saved.  It is clear that Jesus is the greatest Prophet whom He claimed to be. But how does He qualify to be this greatest Prophet? And what does this mean to us as Christians today?

What are the Qualifications of Christ’s Prophetic Office?

His Divinity

The foundation of Christ’s qualifications as the Prophet rest on his glorious Person, as the divine Son of God (Matt 3:17). That is, he is God, actually and essentially, as the Second Person in the glorious Trinity who, as the author of Hebrews says “being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” (Heb 1:3; cf. John 14:9) This is the foundation not only of all his offices: Prophet, Priest and King — but of everything that He is to the Church of God!

Some may argue, “Isn’t it enough for Jesus as a man to be our Prophet?” Well, if he were only a man, his eye could not see, his ear hear, or his lips instruct, as the Prophet of his Church, millions of his believing people worldwide who are crying and looking to him for instruction! Henceforth, the very foundation of all his offices is his eternal, actual, essential Deity, for without that every other qualification would be utterly ineffectual. But could Christ be only God and not a man?

His Humanity

It is his being man as well as God that makes him fit to be a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:18 says, I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”

In other words, the promised prophet to come must be from among their brethren and from the lineage of Jacob; more specifically from the line of Judah and from the house of David. In the opening address to the Christians in Rome, Paul wrote, Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” This was the woman’s seed promised in Genesis 3:15 who would bruise the head of the serpent. Having considered the necessity and nature and qualifications of Christ’s prophetic office, let us consider the Work of Christ’s Prophet Office of which we may draw many applications.

 

To be continued…

 

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Sis Yvone Kam. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Boong Atijatuporn.

*Hope Bookstore - Open from 12:30 - 1:45pm.

*Please note: Bro Youwen Yeap will be leaving Adelaide tomorrow for Singapore after completing his internship.

*RPGs (Jan-Mar QTR) available on literature table. Donation $1:00.

*Latest Bible Witness available. Please take a copy.

*While Ps Weng is away for next 4 weeks, any Session member will be available, if required.

 

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bros Franky (Melb) & Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl); Sisters Xandrea Cai, Cindy Chan (S’pore), & Catherine Teng (Malaysia) & others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. Church Activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Healing - Dn Edwin D’Mello’s mother (Mumbai); Bro John Wong’s father (Bris).

5. Successful heart surgery - Rev Luke Kim(S Korea)

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Cathy Carpenter, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father - hospitalised in Ipoh, Malaysia.

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University; Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

5. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. God’s Comfort - family of Sis Sonya of Filidelfia Church after her homegoing last week; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser on the tragic loss of their close friends.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).

8. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.

9. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC; Missions work in Batam next week.

10. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries; Pastor Mark Baldwin’s wife, Mrs Wiwin, post-op recovery (Cambodia).

11. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

12. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

13. Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Melb/S’pore/Batam); Dns Purdee & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Brazil); Bro Chilton & Sis Emily Cong & family; Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Adl); Bros Cong Pham (Vietnam) & Youwen Yeap (S’pore) & others who are travelling.

14. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16. 18th World Congress of ICCC, Serra Negra, Brazil, on 23 Jan. (Dns Purdee & Sis Peng Ha Yeo)

17.  Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

18.  Unity & fellowship of Australian B-P Churches.

19.  God’s guidance: Bro Youwen Yeap in S’pore as he pursues further medical training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063