“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” -Acts 3:18-21
Over the last month I did an indepth study of God’s Word on prophecy. I learned a lot about what God’s purpose is for the prophet and prophecy.
For more information on prophesy I did an interview on the Thrive Podcast. Check it out by following the link at the bottom of this article!
Though I learned a lot, one thing amazed me more than anything else, God has a simple answer to our biggest questions about prophesy. This one thing can put all concerns about prophecy to rest. This one thing can help us understand the difference between true and false prophecy. That one thing is Jesus. The reason? All true prophecy whether from a dream or vision, whether about the future or an encouragement for today, whether in the Bible or delivered in a Sunday service, all revolves around Jesus. Around who He is, what He has done in and for humanity, and how He brings us ever closer in alignment to Him.
“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He (Jesus) explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” -Luke 24:27
“To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” -Acts 10:43
Thousands of years before Jesus came to earth spokesmen of God, (*The word prophet comes from the Hebrew word Nabi which means; a spokesman or speaker), told of His life. They told us where He would be born (Micah 5:2), what His ministry would look like (Isaiah 61:1-2), how He would die (Isaiah 53:7), and how He would return to humanity (Isaiah 65:17-25) . These were prophets and they gave intimate details on the life of Jesus Christ before He ever walked the earth. Living two thousand years after this happened can make us complacent about how incredible this truly is. That prophets, thousands of years apart, gave exact details for the life of a man who would live thousands of years after they were gone. Reading Isaiah 53 you would think Isaiah was a modern Christian scholar. This shows us that one of the most amazing things about prophecy is when it comes to pass. When God promises something and it actually happens. This is the purpose of the prophet, that God would pick ordinary people and tell them extraordinary things. Things that they have no way of knowing in their own power or ability.
Right now in our world we hear lots of messages giving us solutions to life’s problems. Messages like, “We need to just live and let live”, or “We all need to love and accept each other’s spiritual paths”, or “Real love accepts your choices”. These messages are powerful. They convince us that if we intervene we are being judgmental. They feel like freedom because they allow us to echo Cain by saying; “...Am I my brother’s keeper?” -Genesis 4:9. These feel like life but they actually bring death (John 14:6). The Bible calls these messages false prophecy, messages that sound really good but do not acknowledge the sovereignty of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-3). Anythings that doesn’t lift up the name of Jesus above all else is false prophecy.
“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” -1 Corinthians 12:3
These false prophecies can make us doubt prophecy as a whole. When we are inundated with false messages we can easily justify guarding our hearts against ALL new messages claiming to be from God. Shouldn't we just simply ignore prophesy to be safe? Before we dismiss prophecy we must consider God's purpose in prophesy. We must realize that to believe in God's Word is also to believe that He chose to bring it forth through His prophets (2 Peter 1:16-21). Prophecy that is spoken and then fulfilled can build our faith in an unseen God. Fulfilled prophesy can help us to trust God when everything else tells us not to trust. Fulfilled prophesy helps us proclaim the name of Jesus.
No matter what your personal experience of prophecy is, there is no arguing this one thing; one of the biggest biblical prophecies was fulfilled in the recent past. It is a confirmed biblical prophecy we can witness with our own eyes because in 1948 the state of Israel was reestablished, just as God said it would (Isaiah 11:11). God brought His people back to Israel just as He said He would (Ezekiel 37:21-22). The same prophets who predicted the first and second coming of Jesus predicted the reestablishment of Israel. The very land Jesus will return to rule and reign (Zechariah 8:3). We should not ignore God’s fulfilled prophecies (1 Thessalonians 5:20). God fulfills His promises to His people. God works through prophecy.
This coming week is Easter. We celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Savior of humanity. We remember what He did for us but we must not forget that He is not done. Jesus has a prophecy for us and it goes back to His time on earth and before...He is coming back! (Mark 13:26-27) We need to be ready! Jesus is still speaking prophecy through His Word and His people (through the Holy Spirit 2 Peter 1:21) to the world, to His church, and to His people. Jesus has prophecies for your life as well(1 Tim 1:18-19). There isn’t anything special about the prophet, they are just ordinary people (1 Samuel 10:10-12). What is amazing is the God who sends the messages. What is amazing is that God wants to speak to us. Will you come? Will you listen? Will you receive? God is waiting to talk to you and show you His prophecies.
Follow this link to check out Thrive Podcast and my interview along with Pastor Crystal Krachunis on prophecy: The Gift that Strengthens Others: Part 1
The Gift that Strengthens Others: Part 2
*(http://biblehub.com/, "NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries". Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved Lockman.org).