SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 04/07

The Prophets

Prophet: An authoritative teacher of Yahweh's will
Hebrew Nabi = to expound, to preach.
Greek Prophetes = public expounder

1. Yahweh's Consideration

One of the most admirable traits of the Almighty is that He always warns people before He punishes them. If they take His warning and change their ways, they are spared. If not then punishment follows. Yahweh's warnings come either through an angel messenger or by one of His prophets. We see this divine trait in operation before Yahweh destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He first informed Abraham of His plan to destroy Sodom and then sent two angel messengers to warn Lot and his fellow citizens to escape for their lives.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18: Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

2. True Prophets

A true prophet is a mouthpiece or spokesman for God. He relays Yahweh's messages to people.
"Every prophet of God, and pre-eminently Christ, was like unto Moses (Deut. 18:18-19) in similarity of doctrine, of attitude towards the law ... The prophet speaks for or on behalf of another; he is the mouthpiece or the spokesman of God. He is the forthteller rather than the foreteller." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible article: Prophet)
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;
16: According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
17: And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
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.
19: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

3. False Prophets

Though prophecy is one of Yahweh's best spiritual gifts, sad to say it is comparatively easy to counterfeit. Satan knows this only too well. He knows how easy it is to make people think that they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, or that they are listening to a prophet speaking under divine inspiration. Satan is a master of deception, the father of lies. False prophets have existed in all ages: but their numbers will increase in the days just prior to the Saviour's return. False prophets can be recognised by their false teachings; which invariably clash with Yahweh's law as proclaimed at Mount Sinai and taught by every true prophet of old. False prophets lead millions astray and that is why Yahweh's punishment for them is death.
Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21: And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
22: When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Wonder-working False Prophets

Yeshua the Saviour warned of end-time false prophets who would deceive multitudes with spectacular miracles. This is happening in our day. So take note!
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
v 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
v 24 For 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.
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

The Apostle Paul also warns the church about false prophets posing as ministers of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

4. The Great Charismatic Deception

False prophets abound in the charismatic, 'tongue-speaking' churches. To be sure they do astonishing miracles; but in the main they oppose the commandments of the Almighty God of Israel. Besides, their teachings are not in line with Bible prophets like Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Malachi, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John and Jesus. False prophets will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Their end is near.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The story recorded in 1 Kings 22 is a living prophecy of what is taking place on the world stage in our day. Millions of believers are being taken in by the 'Lying Spirit:' the spirit who takes over the tongues of false prophets and mouths lies. Do not be taken in by them; no matter how many miracles they are able to perform. See Lesson 20 of the SBS Bible course for more information.

5. The Litmus Test

But how does one know the genuine prophet from the false? Thankfully there is a spiritual 'litmus test' which we may apply to the teachings of all prophets to determine whether or not they are true. Here is that test.

The Litmus Test

Isaiah 8:16 : Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples...
v 19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
v 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
"If the doctrine taught by the claimant of a call from God led men away from the Ten Commandments, the speaker was manifestly not a man of God." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible article Prophet)

Another Test - Good Fruit

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Berian Example

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

6. Israel in Bible Prophecy

Some of the greatest prophecies in the Bible concern the people of Israel: their calling, their enslavement, their emancipation, their King, their land, their disobedience, their punishments and scattering to the four corners of the earth. And finally their regathering to the land of Israel in the days just prior to the Saviour's return. Study the following passages and see how true Bible prophecy is and how it is coming to pass in our day.

The Dispersion (Diaspora)

Deuteronomy 28:63-66 Read this passage. Has it not come true?
2 Kings 17:5-18 Read this passage. Is it not a fact?

Yahweh had not cast off Israel forever

Jeremiah 33:23-26 Read this passage about Yahweh's everlasting bond with His people Israel. It will last as long as day follows night.
Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2: God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew..

The Regathering of Israel

Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4: And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
11: For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
12: Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

Ezekiel 20:41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

NOTE: The regathering of the literal descendants of Israel to the land of Canaan is taking place at this very moment. Tens of thousands of Israelites return to Israel each year. Their return is also a shadow of a spiritual awakening taking place in the heart and mind of Yahweh's church. We are coming back, returning to divine truths first delivered to ancient Israel in the days of Moses. Yes, Yahweh's church is also returning to its spiritual heritage of truth. Once again we are beginning to understand: All these spiritual truths form part of the believer's inheritance and are being restored to Yahweh's people. The return of Jewish exiles to the land of Israel was prophesied some two and a half thousand years ago. It is happening today and no one can doubt it. This fact is just one of many that Bible prophecy is reliable and divinely inspired. For more information see Israel, the Chosen of God.
2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

I invite you to consider and live by king Jehoshaphat's advice: because it is good.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999