Friday Morning Manna                           January 25, 2019

Nathaniel Fajardo                                    email: natfajardo777@yahoo.com

Do We Really Know the Prophets/Prophecies that We Need to Know?

         Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1: 20, 21, N.K.J.V.

Verse 19 of these scriptures says: “We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to take heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.” 

How is the prophetic word made more sure? If we pay heed to—not just to any prophecies often introduced with curiosity-arousing “new” interpretations that ignore the “precept upon precept, line upon lite, here a little, there a little” test of Isaiah 28: 9,10, 13, but to thosemade more sure, i.e.,  secured and vetted by the sheer preponderance and weight of the combined, exhaustive, harmonious continuum of the corroborating prophetic testimonies of God’s Old and New Testament prophets/messengers.  All their prophecies and messages were, in fact,testimonies pointing to the Prophet to come, the Messiah, “the Holy One and the Just.” to come, Jesus Christ the Righteous. 

Jesus Christ the Prophet. The apostle-prophet, John the beloved, prophesied and testified that“the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 19:10, last part). This isn’t to be narrowly confined to the present generation and the future final one, but embraces the past. Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 8: 10)—the great I AM, meaning not subject to time, infinitely timeless. John refers us back to Jesus as the Prophet of prophets (even as He is “King of kings and Lord of lords”) and His life-testimony while occupying His first office as The Prophet specified in the plan of redemption.

Boldly speaking truth to power, having been baptized and divinely-energized by the Holy Spirit in its first outpouring at Pentecost, as the former rain (Acts 2, 3), Peter and John declared to the Jewish leaders and people assembled at Solomon’s porch:

        “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that {when, K.J.V.) the times of refreshing [of the latter rain] may come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall 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. For Moses truly said to the fathers, The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like Me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.  And it shall come to pass [a prophecy] that every soul who will not that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people. Yes, andall the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold [prophesied] these days. You are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, in your seed all the families of earth shall be blessed. To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.“Acts 3: 19-26, N.K.J.V.  

We refer back to Moses’ prophetic testimony—a superior witness both in person and in word such that Peter and John quoted him almost verbatim. We read the following recorded in Deuteronomy 18: 15, 18, 19: —

         “The Lord your God will raise up for a Prophet like Me from your midst, from your brethren. Him shall you hear (v. 15). . . “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and I will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He [this Prophet] speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” (vs. 18, 19).    

The Hebrew “Prophet” means “an inspired man.” Its Greek translation is “a foreteller; by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet.” Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh” (John 11-14) was the Anointed, being anointed by the Holy Spirit as the promised Messiah after His  water baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan.  He was the consummate and inspired Spokesman of God, the “brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (Heb. 1: 3), the Teacher of truth and righteousness, using parables, proverbs, and sacred poetry.   

John the Baptist: the greatest of all prophets who did not “prophesy” of anything  

Prophesy means much more than foretelling. John the Baptist bore witness of Christ (John 5: 33) as His forerunner. And Christ’s public testimonyof John was that he was “more than a prophet” because he was a messenger of Christ whose work and message of reformation to prepare for Christ’s first coming would be like that of Elijah the prophet in the Old Testament.  Jesus said:

       “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For it is he whom it was written [a prophecy]” Behold I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You. [see Malachi 3: 1]. Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he . . .For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears, let him hear!” Matt. 11: 9-13.

The Spirit of Prophecy. It is only through and by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead that truth is implanted and magnified to the enlightenment of the mind and conviction of the heart of all humble, honest, and diligent truth-seeker, “whether Jew, Greek, or Gentile” for “God is no respecter of persons.” This is how fallen man, in his yet sinful, carnal flesh nature is “transformed by the renewing of the mind” (Rom. 12: 2), starting with his genuine born-again experience and onward “growing up into all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph. 4: 15)—a process of a lifetime in the rational mind. 

Remember this vital truth: in the plan of redemption, God transformed our sin-cursed Earth into the fitting-up place for heaven. It is thus that “heaven begins on earth.” Now we better understand how: “Justification is our title to heaven; sanctification is our fitness for heaven.” The former is Christ’s righteousness imputed; the latter, His righteousness imparted. The former, by simple faith; the latter by working faith. Our only part in the former is to acknowledge our weakness and sinfulness and seek forgiveness for our sins from our Father in heaven; the latter results from the daily, willing surrender of our will to God’s will and “walking after the Spirit” (not “after the flesh,” Rom. 8: 1-17) as co-laborers with Christ, overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil, and teaching others by precept and example to do the same by God’s grace in Christ.      

Only then will Christ, addressed by Peter as the “morning Star,” arise in our hearts, meaning, God’s grace in Christ will be manifest the “fruit of the Spirit”– a reflected light of “the truth as it in Jesus. Eph. 4: 21; John 1: 9.  This is how the disciple equipped and certified to do Christ’s bidding to “be the light of the world and salt of the earth.” Matt. 5: 13-16.  

There are no “alternative facts” to truth neither “rational and expedient short-cuts” “neither progressive versions” based on “new-modeled causes” of “new theology.” Such are “pleasant-to-the-eye- good-to-the-taste” antitypes of the “mother” of all temptations thereafter, that Eve, the mother of mankind, fell for.

Divine wisdom ordained that the everlasting gospel—the plan of salvation or plan of redemption– intricately detailed in the comprehensive and all-embracing sanctuary doctrine (system of sacrifices; the purpose and function of the priesthood; the feasts and festivals—themselves prophecies “of the better things to come”), the nature of Satan’s war against Christ and His saints on earth and its order of battle—were revealed in the “mother-promise-prophecy recorded in Genesis 3: 15.

God declared and revealed these to 1) Satan—disguised as a miraculously intelligent, mesmerizing, smooth-talking serpent, the most beautiful animal until it was cursed by God, – Adam and  Eve in Eden, their garden-home of the fall. Starting with this Alpha prophecy-promise, follow the prophecy-promises of the Old and on to the New Testament, ending with the glorious Omega prophecy-promise in Revelation 22: 20 where the “Seed of the woman,” the One altogether lovely” triumphantly prophesies the grand climax of this “sacred keynote of all the Scripture”—His glorious,second advent as “King of kings and Lord of lords,” bringing His rewards of eternal life or death, determined by the pre-advent judgment, and to take His bride-church of all ages to the heavenly mansions He went to prepare for them at His ascension.

The simple yet momentous words revealing the Omega of the Alpha promise-prophecy given in Eden, which lighted up the dark and hopeless future of Adam and Eve resulting from their transgression and buoyed up the hope and strengthened the faith of the saints of all the ages, especially the numberless martyrs for Jesus, are these: “Surely, I come quickly.” Rev. 22: 20.

Believing without understanding is inadequate         

Christ taught His disciples even though they believed in Him. Christ educates through the Holy Spirit in the word.  Not till their initial “toddler” belief in Him had grown into spiritual adulthood by attentively “sitting at the feet of Jesus” as Mary did, and then receiving the approbation of their Master Teacher —could the first Twelve Disciples become the Twelve Apostles.   

Also bearing “the testimony of Jesus, which the spirit of prophecy,” God’s messenger-prophet for these last days revealed, and warned the remnant church of prophecy with these:

       “I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth, know not what they believeThey do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others, who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason.  Until thus tested, they knew not their great ignorance.

       “And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith, and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. [Why?] Certain it is that there has been among us adeparture from the living God, and a turning to men, putting human wisdom in place of divine.

 The sifting role of heresies for sleeping believers

    “God will arouse His people [as Elijah, John the Baptist did]; it other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep.  Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us.  This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures, and a most critical examination of the positions we hold.  

       “God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest on suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith [or belief] must be firmly founded upon the word of God, so that when the testing time shall come, and they are brought before councils [Matt. 10: 17; Mark 13: 9] to answer for their faith, they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. [see on 2 Pet. 3: 13-16].”  E. G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 39, 40.

      “As a people, we are called individually to be students of prophecy.”- Ibid, p. 40.

Are you a diligent, individual student of prophecy? Are you absolutely sure what these are?

(Continued nest week)