Prophets, Messengers of Jesus

Study – Prophets  

Prophets, Messengers of Jesus


Before sin – Adam talked to God face to face.   Genesis 3:8
Sin changed that

God spoke through prophets


To Tell forth – to speak as God’s representative
– messages  of  Guidance in Crisis
Correction in Apostasy
Instruction in right living

To Fore Tell – Promise of Redeemer
– Consequences of actions
– Amos 3:7

    The prophets came at strategic times in history-

    Noah   A time of global decision.  Called people to salvation

    Abraham   Establishment of nation of Israel   Genesis 20:7

    – Kept knowledge of God going in family
    – Offered sacrifice pointing to the Messiah

    Moses   Deliverance from Egyptian bondage

    – Called Israel to obedience
    – Whole man involved – not just what sacrifices, also what food.

    Deborah    Time of Crisis   Guide  the nation   Judges 4:4

    Samuel    Time of Crisis – Sacrificial system perverted  1 Samuel 2:12

    – Israel surrounded by enemies
    – People wanted a king
    “Obedience to God is better than sacrifice”    1 Samuel 15:22

    Elijah / Elisha   Time of national apostasy – following Ba’al  1 Kings 17-

    – call people back to God (Elijah)
    – Guide them in safe paths (Elisha)

    Prophets of warning   Isaiah, Jeremiah …

    Conditional on peoples acceptance or rejection of God
    – Accepting and obeying prophetic guidance leads to safety       Isaiah 1:18-20
    – Rejecting it leads to Captivity

    Prophets of the exile  Time of national calamity     Ezekiel,   Daniel

    – This is why you are here
    – If you hope to get away from here there are changes …
    – There is hope!

    Prophets of restoration Get / keep the nation back on track with God  Haggai,  Zechariah

    John the Baptist  Prepared the nation for an important event

    – Called people to repentance
    – pointed to Jesus    John 1:32-36
    – Jesus called him the greatest of the prophets  Luke 7:28

    Prophets in Practise  – mostly no one listened to prophets in the past

    Jeremiah 36:23
    Amos 2:11, 12
    Isaiah 30:10      1 Kings 22
    2 Chronicles 36:15, 16
    Jonah  – the one exception.  His audience listened and repented

    2 Chronicles 20:20

    What about today?
    Did prophecy die out after Jesus?

    Ephesians 4:11-   Who gave the gift?  For what purpose?  For how long?  For what benefit to us?

    Matthew 24:24   Can there be a counterfeit if there is no genuine?

    1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21   Test them.. Look for the true.

    Acts 2:17- In the last days …

    The gifts of the Spirit are given as our pilot through perilous times.

    “Suppose we are about to start upon a voyage.

    The owner of the vessel gives us a book of directions, telling us it  contains instructions sufficient for the whole journey, and that if we will heed them, we shall reach in safety our port of destination.

    Setting sail we open our book to learn its contents.  We find that its author lays down general principles to govern us in our voyage, and instructs us as far as practicable touching the various contingencies that may arise, until the end; but he also tells us that the latter part of our journey will be especially perilous; that the features of the coast are ever changing by reason of quicksands and tempests; “but for this part of the journey,” says he, “I have provided you a pilot, who will meet  you, and give you such directions as the surrounding circumstances and dangers my require; and to him you must give heed.”

    With these directions we reach the perilous times specified, and the pilot, according to promise, appears.

    But some of the crew, as he offers his services, rise up against him.  “We have the original book of directions,” say they, “and that is enough for us.  We stand upon that, and that alone; we want nothing of you.”

    Who now heed the original book of directions?  Those who reject the pilot, or those who receive him, as that book instructs them?

    Checking out a Prophet
    Physical manifestations in dreams or visions
    Daniel 10:8, 9, 17, 18

    Characteristics of a prophetic ministry

    1. It will lead to Christ as the only Saviour  Revelation 19:10
    2. It will teach the purest morality   Matthew 7:15-23
    3. It will bring encouragement and hope to God’s people  Romans 15:4
    4. It will point out the snares of Satan.
    5. It will point to the Bible as the Word of God, the rule of faith and practice.  Isaiah 8:20

    Seventh-day Adventists recognise this gift in the ministry of Ellen. G. White (1827-1915) . They  believe Ellen White to be a prophetess, like Deborah, Huldah and Anna. Not only did she foretell the future, but she also gave wise counsel in the present. Certainly she was a spokesman for God. Like the prophets of old, her life was marked by humility, simplicity, austerity, divine learning and devotion.  As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. Seventh-day Adventists accept Ellen White’s writings as representing the work of the prophetic gift, but not as taking the place of the Bible or as constituting an addition to it.  Her writings make it clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.

    Health Principles
    She was frail as a child, completing only third grade, and had no technical training, yet she lived to write scores of articles and many books on the subject of healthful living.
    Remember, this was in the days when doctors were still blood-letting and performing surgery with unwashed hands. This was in an era of medical ignorance bordering on barbarism. Yet Ellen White wrote with such profound understanding on the subject of nutrition that all but two of the many principles she espoused have been scientifically established.

    Professor of Nutrition, Dr. Clive McCay of Cornell said, “How much better health the average American might enjoy if he but followed the teachings of Mrs. White.”

    Perhaps we should reread what she has taught:

    • “The oil, as eaten in the olive, is far preferable to animal oil or fat.” Today we know about cholesterol.
    • She knew: “Fine flour white bread is lacking in nutritive elements to be found in bread made from whole wheat.” Today we have re-enriched our bread.
    • She wrote: “Do not eat largely of salt.” Now we know we should keep the sodium intake low.
    • She wrote whole articles on the importance of not overeating; of not becoming overweight; of eating “at each meal two or three kinds of simple food”; and “eat not more than is required to satisfy hunger.”

    We have come to accept the wisdom of such advice so completely that it is difficult for us to realize how revolutionary her theories were almost a century ago. (Seventh-day Adventists consider her knowledge divinely inspired.)

    • A long time before we learned about TV snacks, Mrs. White wrote: “After irregular eating, when children come to the table, they do not relish wholesome food; their appetites crave that which is hurtful to them.”
    • She urged: “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise.”
    • She wrote: “Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison. It is all the more dangerous because its effects are slow and at first hardly perceptible.”

    “Divinely inspired” or not, Ellen White was, indeed, ahead of her time.
    Are there additional recommendations which this remarkable woman urged upon us which we have, so far, ignored?
    Two of her teachings haunt the more progressive nutritionists because if she is right about these also, most of us are wrong and have yet to “catch up” to her advanced knowledge of nutrition.

    • Mrs. White wrote: “All-wheat flour is not best for continuous diet. A mixture of wheat, oatmeal and rye would be more nutritious.”
    • Also, Mrs. White was essentially a vegetarian. She wrote: “The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct.”

    Do you suppose we’ll discover she was right about these things, too?

    Her writings include

    The Adventist Home. A wide range of counsels topically arranged on home, marriage, and the care and rearing of the family.
    Child Guidance.  Counsels relating to child care, training, and education.
    Christ’s Object Lessons. The parables of Jesus and their lessons, which for space reasons could not be included in The Desire of Ages.
    Conflict of the Ages series

    Patriarchs and Prophets.  The conflict of the ages from the fall of Lucifer to the death of King David.
    Prophets and Kings.   The history of Israel from the reign of King David to the coming of the Messiah
    The Desire of Ages. The presentation of the life and ministry of Jesus
    The Acts of the Apostles
    The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. Traces the conflict from the destruction of Jerusalem to the time of writing and then, in a forecast, presents earth’s closing events, the Second Advent, the millennium, and the new earth.

    Counsels on Diet and Foods. A topically arranged reference book embodying the full range of counsels on diet drawn from both published and unpublished sources.
    Evangelism. Counsels selected from manuscripts, periodical articles, out-of-print books, pamphlets, and current sources relating to the evangelistic promulgation of the gospel message.
    Gospel Workers.
    The Ministry of Healing. A general presentation of the principles of healthful living.
    Steps to Christ.  The most widely read of Mrs. White’s books, published in scores of printings of many editions too numerous to list, in many languages, attaining a distribution of millions of copies. Also published as Knowing Him Better and Happiness Digest.
    Testimonies for the Church. Messages of counsel to Seventh-day Adventists, to either individuals or groups (such as churches and institutions), concerning specific situations, or messages of a general character dealing with principles of Christian living and the mission of the church.
    Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing. A six-chapter presentation of the lessons Jesus taught in His sermon on the mount.

    Link to Ellen White Estate

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