Volume. XXVI, No. 30
Sunday, 22 January 2012


Of the Prophetic Office of Christ - Part II


In the last article, we considered the necessity and the nature of the prophetic office. We have also examined the qualifications of Christ’s prophetic office which was based on His full divinity and humanity. In the next two weeks, we shall consider Christ’s work as a Prophet which is divided into earthly work and heavenly work.

 

On Earth

 

To speak the Words received from His Father (John 12:49, 50; John 6:68; John 17:8)

 

Firstly, Christ spoke to the people in general (Matt 5-7; John 6, 8, 10). As a prophet, our Lord was sent to the Jewish people at large. This was evident in his speaking of parables and discourses in the gospels such as John 6, 8, 10 and especially in his Sermon on the Mount. Although people were "astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes," (Matt 7:28, 29), by and large people did not receive Him. Why? Because his message was consistent with the message of the Old Testament prophets. He spoke what His father wanted him to say. Our Lord said, For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12;49,50) In fact, the crowd left him after he preached the “hard sayings” of gospel truth. “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” John 6:60 wrote. And they left him. And verse 66 says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

 

In a sense, we as Christians are also God’s prophets, for we proclaim what Jesus wants us to proclaim. Our Lord says, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” (John 17:8) Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised if the majority of people today reject the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. If the word preached by our Lord was rejected by the mass, we should also expect a great level of rejection today.

 

Secondly, Christ spoke to the disciples in particular (John 6:66-68). In order, then, that our Lord’s words should not wholly fall to the ground, God gave him a few disciples, who would receive them, and be saved and sanctified by them. In the gospel of John chapter 6, there is something peculiarly emphatic in the response of Peter, when the Lord said unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" (John 6:67) It seems as if, at his Master\'s voice, faith immediately sprang up in his heart. "Lord," was Peter’s answer, "…to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Many people follow the crowd. Perhaps, it is human nature that we follow the majority. Many evangelical churches no longer believe supernatural Creation of God. Some churches have abandoned the doctrine of inspiration. Some evangelists give in to the exclusiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Other so-called Christian churches have joined the ecumenical band wagon propagating “another” gospel by claiming that all religions lead to the same God. They have all “gone away” from the Lord and follow the popular teaching of the world. Will we also go away from the Lord and depart from His teaching when under peer pressure or sneer and mockery from our colleagues and friends?   

Thirdly, Christ spoke to the troubled and afflicted (Mark 7:26; Matt 9:2; Matt 9:22; Luke 7:47; Luke 19:9) But besides our Lord\'s general and particular ministry to his disciples, our Lord also spoke to those who were troubled and afflicted. For instance, to the Syrophenician woman in Mark 7:26; to the man sick of the palsy in Matthew 9:2; to the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:22; to the woman who was a sinner in Luke 7:47; to Zaccheus in Luke 19:9; to Martha, Mary, and Lazarus in John 11:5.

 

These are all instances of believing, pardoned, and saved sinners, to whom the Lord\'s words were words of power as distinct from those which were given to his disciples. As also distinct from his public preaching to the general mass, the Lord had a peculiar ministration for the afflicted remnant--the lost sheep of the house of Israel, whom he was sent to seek and save. (Matt 15:24; Luke 19:10.) As one writer rightly says, “These were the poor to whom he preached the gospel, (Matt 11:5,) the broken-hearted whom he came to heal, the captives to whom he proclaimed deliverance, the blind to whom he gave recovering of sight, and the bruised whom he set at liberty.

 

To teach the Words received from His Father

 

With authority (Matt 7:28, 29)

 

At the time of our Lord\'s appearance on the earth, the pure word of God, the living oracles which had been committed to the trust of the Jewish people, (Acts 7:38; Rom 3:2,) had become overlaid by the traditions of man. The tithing of mint; the washing of cups and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables; and a frivolous and burdensome code of traditions had as it were smothered the true knowledge of God and the worship of him in spirit and in truth! As one commentator observes, “Formality and ceremony, long robes and broad phylacteries, praying in the market-place and at the corners of the streets, were substituted for justice and the love of God; and as this mere formal religion was to some a mask of hypocrisy, and to others a cloak of covetousness, the scribe and the pharisee ruled over an ignorant people.”

 

Such pure and holy insight into and experience of its spirituality and power and enforced by the prophets were no longer known or taught by those who sat in Moses\'s seat, namely the Scribes and Pharisees. However, our Lord’s prophetic ministry was different This was felt and acknowledged even by the people themselves, though most derived no personal or spiritual benefit from it, but most "were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matt 7:28, 29.) Does our preaching and teaching conform to certain standards and expectations of people today? Many churches use the pulpit as a platform to give out investment and career seminar. Other churches use the pulpit to give a talk on personal development, wealth management and self-esteem improvement. Their pulpits have lost the power to change the lives of people and covert sinners because the preachers no longer preach the truth with authority! But against the popular trend and tradition of man of his days, our Lord as a prophet sent from God, preached with authority! And his prophetic ministry is authenticated by miracles!   

 

To be continued...

 

Pastor Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Suzane Lim.

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

*Please note: Bro Raymond Ang moving to Pinnaroo (rural SA) today for work.

*Daily Manna (Jan-Mar QTR) has just arrived. Please take a copy. Donation: $1.

*While Ps Weng is away for next 3 weeks, any Session member will be available, if required.

*Updating our Church Directory. Please fill in your name & details in the form provided.

*Next week’s Fellowship Lunch is catered. Adult $5. Under 5 years old: Free.

 

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Melb/S’pore/Batam); Dns Purdee & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Syd/Brazil); Bro Chilton & Sis Emily Chong & family; Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Adl); Bros Cong Pham (Vietnam) & Youwen Yeap (S’pore) & others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. Church Activities - over the past week.

3. Successful surgery: Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father.

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

5. Contribution  of Bro Youwen Yeap to Hope BPC over the last 7 years.

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 Moses Hahn & Ministry; Pr Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

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

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

6. God’s Comfort to those who are grieving.

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.

10. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries; Pastor Mark & Mrs Wiwin Baldwin’s Ministry in 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 (S’pore/Mal); Dn Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong & family (Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Melb); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Pt Augusta/Adl); Sisters Wendy Liang (Adl) & Katrina Loh (Adl) & 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, starting tomorrow. (Dns Purdee & Sis Peng Ha Yeo)

17.  Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

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

19.  Full-time Jobs - for our university graduates.

20.  God’s guidance - Bro Raymond Ang working in Pinnaroo Hospital.

 

 

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