God's Servants the Prophets

New Testament Prophets

Every follower of Jesus is given one or more gifts to enable and focus his or her service and work. My Complete list is twenty gifts. The first four are:

1. Apostle (apostolos). The Greek word means "one sent forth" (on an official errand), i.e., an ambassador. In addition to the twelve original disciples who became apostles, Paul was added to the list of those commissioned by God to lay the foundations of the Christian church and impart a full body of truth which would guide Christian faith and conduct. There were also other apostles, for example, Barnabas, Acts 14:4,14; Andronicus and Junia, Romans 16:7, 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25. The need for apostles diminished as the church became established. If there are any apostles today they might be found among pioneer missionaries who establish churches in foreign lands where the gospel has not yet been proclaimed. Christians today are under apostolic authority, however there is no Biblical reason to believe in the so-called apostolic succession of authority in the church. Ray Stedman likens the apostles in the Body of Christ to the skeleton and musculature of the human body. 

2. Prophet, prophecy. (prophetes), lit: "to speak forth," to proclaim the mind and counsel of God, i.e., the gift of preaching. Differs from pastor-teacher in scope. Ray Stedman compares the role of the NT prophet to the nervous system of the body. NT prophets do not make predictions about the future as the OT prophets did, but they gather their message from the Scriptures. Nor is God giving the church new revelation through such individuals today. The gift of prophecy is likewise not for giving secret messages from God to individuals in the church. Prophets vigorously stimulate and challenge the Body of Christ, pastor-teachers patiently feed the sheep and care for their needs. Prophets are to edify, exhort and console, (see 1 Corinthians 14:3). 

3. Evangelist, evangelism. (evangelistes) from eu = well, plus aggelos = messenger. The gift of bringing the good news of God to unbelievers individually and in groups. The content of the message is outlined in 1 Corinthians 15. Ray Stedman compares this gift to the digestive apparatus of the human body which has the ability to take material which is not a part of the body and transform it into parts of the body. Evangelists are also to teach other believers how to lead people to the Lord Jesus. Timothy evidently did not have this gift but Paul nevertheless urged him to "do the work of an evangelist".

4. Pastor-teacher (poimenes kai didaskalos), shepherd and teacher. Ray Stedman describes this gift as analogous to the circulatory system of the human body which "cleanses and feeds" the members of the body. Ray Stedman once said he believed this was a this is a common gift, given to perhaps a third of Christians.

The Canon of Scripture is closed. Therefore no new predictions of the future are now being made. Those with the New Testament gift of prophet are not called to predict the future. They are Bible expositors who explain and amplify the existing Old and New Testaments.

Few churches today recognize any spiritual gift except a pastor. This deficit leads to a passive audience ruled over by a paid professional clergy. This old heresy is called out in the last book of the Bible, the Book of the Revelation: "Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." (Revelation 2:6) and "So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth." (Revelation 2:15,16)

New Body Life

Guidelines on Gifts by Ray Stedman

Body Life by Ray Stedman

The Church Papers

Old Testament Prophets

The church Jesus is building has a different calling and is differently gifted compared to the calling of Israel. The books of the Bible were assembled over many years yielding our modern Bibles. The subject of the Canon of Scripture and how we got there is both fascinating and complex! Which version is also worth investigating.

O Jerusalem!

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying:  “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,  that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for  they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  But all their works they do to  be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’  But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 

Do not call anyone on earth your father;  for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But  he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. “But  woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 

“Woe to you,  blind guides, who say,  ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold  or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift  or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by  Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by  the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and  have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 

“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that  you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents,  brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes:  some of them you will kill and crucify, and  some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth,  from the blood of righteous Abel to  the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets  and stones those who are sent to her! 
How often  I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 
See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, 
you shall see Me no more till you say,  ‘Blessed  is  He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”




Israel’s Guilt and Punishment

Amos the Prophet

3:1 Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel,
against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt: 
2 You only have I known
   of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
   for all your iniquities. 

3 Do two walk together
   unless they have made an appointment? 
4 Does a lion roar in the forest,
   when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den,
   if it has caught nothing? 
5 Does a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
   when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
   when it has taken nothing? 
6 Is a trumpet blown in a city,
   and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster befall a city,
   unless the Lord has done it? 
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
   without revealing his secret
   to his servants the prophets. 
8 The lion has roared;
   who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
   who can but prophesy? 

9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
   and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, ‘Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
   and see what great tumults are within it,
   and what oppressions are in its midst.’ 
10 They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
   those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds. 
11 Therefore, thus says the Lord God:
An adversary shall surround the land,
   and strip you of your defence;
   and your strongholds shall be plundered. 

12 Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece
of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed. 

13 Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
   says the Lord God, the God of hosts: 
14 On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
   I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
   and fall to the ground. 
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
   and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end, 
says the Lord. 
(Amos 3)





The Ten Israel Tribes of Carried Captive to Assyria
722 BC

Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria; for three years he besieged it. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria; he carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

This occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They had worshipped other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had introduced. The people of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the Lord their God. They built for themselves high places at all their towns, from watch-tower to fortified city; they set up for themselves pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree;there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. They did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger; they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, ‘You shall not do this.’ Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the law that I commanded your ancestors and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.’ They would not listen but were stubborn, as their ancestors had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They despised his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their ancestors, and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false; they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do as they did. They rejected all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves cast images of two calves; they made a sacred pole,worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. They made their sons and their daughters pass through fire; they used divination and augury; and they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.

Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel; he punished them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had banished them from his presence.

When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat king. Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. The people of Israel continued in all the sins that Jeroboam committed; they did not depart from them until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had foretold through all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. So the king of Assyria was told, ‘The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.’ Then the king of Assyria commanded, ‘Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land.’ So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the Lord.

But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They also worshipped the Lord and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. So they worshipped the Lord, but they also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they continue to practice their former customs.

They do not worship the Lord and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. The Lord had made a covenant with them and commanded them, ‘You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall worship the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, but you shall worship the Lord your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.’ They would not listen, however, but they continued to practice their former custom.

So these nations worshipped the Lord, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children’s children continue to do as their ancestors did. (2 Kings 17)

The Desruction of the First Temple: 9th of Av, 586 BC.

The Desruction of the Second Temple, 9th of Av, 70 AD.

The Kings of Israel and Judah

Amos the Prophet

Jesus, our Greater Moses

Isaiah and Micah

The Temple Cleansings by Jesus

Isaiah as a Young Man

Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy 

Leisure Reading

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Web Site

God's Long Term Purpose for Israel

Dry Bones

Israel is the Key to World Peace

The Ruthlessness of God


Israel My Glory (Aliyah)

Entering God's Sabbath Rest

Jesus, the Avenger of Blood

The Terror of the Lord


Tyre and Sidon

Jesus our Jubilee

The Day of the Lord


Jesus, Greater than Moses

The Wife of Jehovah, The Bride of Christ

The Last Church Before the Rapture

The Assyrian

The Gog/Magog Invasion

God's Land -- God's People

Strike the Shepherd

Prediction vs Prophecy: Todd Hampson

 

Bible Prophecy: A foretelling prediction or declaration of something that is certain to come. God is the author of Bible prophecy. God spoke through prophets to record the prophecies in the Bible. Bible prophecy is simply God telling history in advance. 

Have you ever heard someone make a prediction? Maybe a weather forecaster said it would rain the next day. Or perhaps a sportscaster was convinced that an underdog football team was going to win an upcoming game.

Those are predictions, hunches, or educated guesses based on an analysis of facts and sometimes a gut feeling.

Such predictions are impressive when they end up being correct, but often they are not. People’s predictions are occasionally accurate, but they are never completely reliable—and they usually have very limited outcomes to choose from to begin with. For example, if two teams are playing each other and a sportscaster picks a winner, he has a 50/50 chance of being right.

A Bible prophecy, on the other hand, is very different from a human prediction. Many of the Bible’s predictions were given hundreds or even thousands of years in advance and involve many specific details. Most of the prophecies in the Bible have already happened—and they have a 100 percent accuracy record!

These prophecies are not just about topics with only a few possible outcomes, such as the weather or a sporting event. Instead, they contain mind-blowing details about important historical events, conditions, and people. Every time a Bible prophecy has been fulfilled, each detail of the prophecy has been accurate. If Bible prophecy were a baseball player, it would hit a home run every single time at bat!

Imagine that someone gave you a comic book with you as the main character. You’re so excited, you read the whole book in one sitting, and you count ten things that happen to you in the comic book.

Then as you go about your day, the things you just read about happen to you exactly like you read in the comic book and in exactly the same order.

By the afternoon, eight of the ten events happened just as seen in the comic book. Do you think that would give you confidence the final two events would also happen to you?

That’s what Bible prophecy is like. Roughly 80 percent of the prophecies have already happened. The remaining 20 percent have to do with Jesus’s return at the end of the age.





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