Volume. XXXI, No. 23
Sunday, 04 December 2016


From the Pastors heart: Christ Our Prophet


Not too long ago, I stumbled over a book written by my former professor, Michael Barrett.  He taught me both Hebrew and Greek, and I believe that I took a few Old Testament courses with him.  He is a Bible lover and scholar, and also ordained minister from a Free Presbyterian church.  He is currently serving as a vice president for academic affairs/academic dean and professor of Old Testament at Puritan Reformed theological Seminary.  The book title I found is “Beginning at Moses: A Guide to Finding Christ in the Old Testament.”  It is a good book to read.  He wrote what he desired to share with his readers with clarity and high scholarship.  It is easy to read and follow even if we are young believers.  He wrote about Christ in this book, and I’d like to share some of his words either by direct quotes or by paraphrasing them.

I think that his approach to the study of Christ beginning with the book of Genesis is both good and correct.  A few days ago, my wife and I were reading the second half of John 5 which has the Lord’s view of the scriptures.  He said to the Jews who persecuted and desired to kill Him about the importance of the Bible in verse 39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  We ought to notice that the Scriptures are testifying of Jesus, and the Scriptures Jesus mentioned in this chapter must refer to the Old Testament.  In the same chapter, Jesus said, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”  If the Jews believed Moses, they should have believed Jesus, because Moses wrote of Jesus.  As we know, Moses has been known as the author of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, Genesis to Deuteronomy).  The Bible testifies that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one.  I would like to talk about three offices of Christ as we meditate on the meaning of incarnation in the month of December. 

The people anointed were usually in some leadership role, either civil or religious.  The most common were kings (I Kings 1:34), priests (Exodus 28:41), and prophets (I Kings 19:16).  In each instance, the anointing was a symbolic gesture to set these individuals apart for a particular function.  Let me begin with Christ’s prophetic office.

A prophet is a representative of God before man, while a priest is a representative of men before God.  Thus, a prophet is expected to deliver the messages he has received from God to the people.  The Hebrew word translated “prophet” is formed from a verb which most likely means “to speak.”  The word “prophet” conveys the passive idea of the verb.  “A prophet, therefore, is one who has been spoken to and who in turn conveys that divine message to men.”  We can find such examples from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6-9) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:4, 7).  What a prophet says is the same as “thus saith the Lord.”  Therefore, any degree of credibility of a prophet depends on the truthfulness of his messages.  Maybe Haggai 1:13 is a powerful description of a prophet of God: “Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.”  Haggai, a messenger of the Lord, spoke the Lord’s message to the people.  A true prophet must be identified by miracles and fulfilled prophecies as Deuteronomy 13:1-3 and 18:21, 22 indicate.  However, his ultimate accreditation was his faithfulness in proclaiming the word of the Lord. 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 24, succinctly defines how Christ carries out the prophetic office: “Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.” Speaking of the Lord Jesus in prophetic terms, Hebrews declares that God spoke in various ways through the prophets but has now revealed His final word to man by his Son, “whom he hath appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1, 2).

There are many evidences to prove that Jesus Christ is the true Prophet.

The foremost important evidence is that He is truly representing God the Father.  It is because what He did was the Father’s work, and what He said were the Father’s words.   John 7:16, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”  Jesus challenged the Jews even to check Him out in John 7:17-18, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”  Jesus perfectly represented the Father in words and glory.  His whole life and ministry summed up in John 4:34 demonstrates Him as God’s true representative: “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”  He also said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”

As the obedient prophet, whose authority was validated in his insistent proclamation of “thus saith the Lord,” Jesus testified that “all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15).  He declared plainly, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).  In another place He 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” (John 12:49; see also 14:10, 24; 17:8).

Second, Christ’s prophetic office is validated by the truthfulness of His messages.  “Predicting the future, after all, was something that prophets did. In fact, this ability to predict the future accurately was a key test that God specified for judging whether a prophet was genuine or not. The Lord issued a stern warning to any prophet who would presume to speak anything that God had not commanded him to speak (Deuteronomy 18:20).  He then declared that unfulfilled prophecy would be an unmistakable sign that the Lord had not spoken through that prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22).”  We know that the predictions He made, concerning His betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, were all literally fulfilled. 

Third, Christ’s prophetic office is confirmed by His signs, wonders, and miracles.  Matthew 11:4-5 says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”  We observe that the Lord provided an answer to a question from John the Baptist in 11:3, “And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”  In response, Jesus spoke of His signs and wonders.  They were messianic events.  We can also find some hints of this matter from Deuteronomy 13. 

“So ingrained was this messianic prophetic anticipation in the time of Jesus that even the Samaritan woman acknowledged, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things” (John 4:25).  Immediately the Lord Jesus declared to her that He was that Messiah (John 4:26).”

Jesus came to this world as the Prophet.

Lovingly,
Your Pastor

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bro Kevin Low; Sisters Jen Xin Li & Jun Lin. Helpers next week: Bros Houston Li & Jaehoon Mun; Sis Kristy Low.
*Today’s Fellowship Lunch: $3 per person. FREE for visitors, pre-primary & primary school children.
*Christmas Lunch Buffet for seniors have been arranged for Wednesday, 12pm at Buckingham Arms Hotel. Please see Pastor Ki for further details on transport, contributions, etc.
*Cambodia Missions, 13 - 21 Feb 2017. Anyone interested to go, please see Elder Michael D Lee.
*No Wednesday Prayer Meeting & Bible Study on Galatians till first Wednesday in February.
*Neighbourhood Bible Study groups resume in the first week of February.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Dn Wai Kin & Bro Benjamin Wong (S’pore); Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (Perth/Adl); Sis Ruth Tong (S’pore); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in the past week.
Completion of exams for Year 12 & university students.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Rev George van Buuren; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); & others in affliction.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions.
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for Task Force & congregation.
God’s guidance for our theological students next year - Dn Sung Hyun Ma & Bro Kevin Low.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
God’s guidance for Covenant, Ebenezer, Hope & Providence BPCs to form an Australian B-P Presbytery.
Journey mercies: All who are travelling.
Safety in pregnancy: Sis Tabitha Tan.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
God’s guidance for the settlement of new church on 20 Jan 2017.
God’s protection for Bros Timothy Gan & Benjamin Wong as they go for National Service in S’pore.
Australia - Salvation of Australians & for our politicians not to pass any legislation that is against God’s Law.
Jobs - Those seeking for employment.
Unity of doctrine & fellowship of Australian B-P churches.
Victims of earthquake in Japan & New Zealand.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063