THE PROPHETIC MYSTERIES OF THE LAST DAY
WHO IS A PROPHET?
4 ¶ then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
- Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
- Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
- But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
- Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
- See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. God has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man’s theme is, fierce greed. The prophet’s theme is, first of all, the very life of a whole people, and his identification lasts, more than a moment. He is one not only with what he says; he is involved with his people in what his word foreshadow.
The prophet is intent on intensifying responsibility, is impatient of excuse, contemptuous of pretences and self-pity. His tone, rarely sweet or caressing, is frequently consoling and disburdening;
Who could bear living in a state of disgust day and night? The conscience builds its confines, is subject to fatigue, longs for comfort, lulling, soothing, yet those who are hurt, and he who inhabits eternity, neither slumber nor sleep. The prophet is sleepless and grave.
Perhaps the prophet knew more about the mystery obscenity of sheer unfairness, about the unnoticed malignancy of established patterns of indifference, than men whose knowledge depends solely on intelligence and observation.
18 ¶ And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. (Jer.11:18)
The words of the prophet are stern, sour, stinging, and fire. But behind his austerity is love compassion for mankind. Indeed, every prediction of disaster is in itself an exhortation to repentance. The prophet is sent not only to upbraid, but also to strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.
It is embarrassing to be a prophet. None of the prophets seems enamored with being a prophet nor proud of his attainment. Over the life of a prophet words are invisibly inscribed: all flatter abandon, ye who enter here. To be a prophet is both a distinction and an affliction. The mission he performs is distasteful to him and no reward could temper its bitterness
The prophet is a lonely man. He alienates the wicked as well as the pious, the cynics as well as believers, the priests and princes the judges and the false prophets. But to be a prophet means to challenge and to defy and to cast out fear.
The prophet’s eye is directed to the contemporary scene; the society and its conduct are the man theme of his speeches. Yet his ear is inclined to God. He is a person struck by the glory and presence of Almighty God, overpowered by the hand of God, yet his true greatness is his ability to God and man bin n a single thought.
The prophet claims to be far more a messenger. He is a person who stand in the presence of God, (Jer. 15:19) who stand in the council of the Lord, (Jer.23:18) who is a participant, as it were in the council of God, not a bearer of dispatches whose function is limited to being sent on errands, he is a counselor as well as a messenger.
The prophet is not a mouthpiece, yet God’s Old Testament prophets were not mere mouthpieces. They were not just hirelings. They were in partnership with God. But an associate of God on earth. In the presence of the people he takes the part of God. God’s prophets of today do hate sin, hate evil, and become, in some sense, one with though of God, at least on occasion. Their words penetrate, whether they are giving prophetic utterances, preaching a message or in mere conversation. The prophet hear God’s voice and feels His Hear
I believe that, to the extent a called prophet of any age comes into maturity in his office, that person comes into a standing with God which parallels the prophets of old. God’s prophets, who are truly His servants, are not common, but they do exist today.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
THE CALLING OF THE PROPHET
Jeremiah was a timid, possibly due to his age when he was called into a prophetic ministry and it was at a period of storm and stress when the doom of the entire nation Israel was sealed because of backsliding. Jeremiah was a prophet/priest that had a long period of ministry over forty years and lasted the reign of five Kings of Judah: (Jer. 1:1-3).
His prophetic ministry continues after the captivity of which he had warned the nation so much of before it took place. His life was totally given to his ministry. The Lord commanded him not to marry and raise children because the next generation of Judah will be swept off into captivity to Babylon (Jer. 16:1-3).
Jeremiah was viewed by his nation as unpatriotic because of his prophetic utterances; his ministry attracted a great persecution and imprisonment for him by his nation. He was under house arrest at the time Jerusalem was captured. Though he had reliefs but they were short-lived. He had to contend with many false prophets who preferred to prophesy from their own minds so as to remain acceptable to their audience who found the word of Jeremiah too heavy and unpleasant to bear.
His book preserves an account of his struggles; which are known in greater depth and details, than other prophets of old Testaments.
Some interprets the name Jeremiah as “THE LORD THROWS” “because they felt he was a prophet who was thrown in the sense of hurling into a hostile world, while some interprets his name a “THE LORD EXALTS’…IS HIGH’…WILL ARISE” and THE LODR ESTABLISHED”.
Though he was seen as enemy of progress, yet he was full of love for his nation. He prayed and lamented for her over and over. He identified strongly with her plight; he was called a weeping prophet a practice that explains the origin of the English word “Jeremiad” (a lamentation: a tale of grief: a doleful story of the seer). Shalom!
Almighty God, the one true God, created the universe. He created the earth: then He put man on the earth and actually gave him rule over it. He also made man His companion and friend.
But the evil forces, satan, deceived man and took dominion over the earth by tempting Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, to disobey the command of God. When man yielded to temptation he brought sin into the world. Because God is good perfect, He cannot fellowship with sinful man; thus man separated himself from God. Furthermore, satan snatched the dominion over the earth from Adam and became the ruler over the earth.
God is a good and perfect God. He is merciful, but His also just. He had told Adam that if Adam disobeyed Him, the punishment would be death and eternal separation from God. Death would come to the physical body, and the spirit (which can never die) would be cast into darkness and loneliness, eternally under the domination of evil forces-a terrible domination for man who was created to be a friend of God.
But God loved the man whom He had created, and He knew all things before they happened. So long ago He made a plan whereby man could be brought back into the presence of Almighty God, and the power of satan would be destroyed.
Thus God put a redeeming plan into effect. Thousand of years ago the Spirit of God cause holy prophets to write the Good New-that the only begotten Son of God would one day come to the earth and actually take the punishment for man, so that man might be restored to the favour of God. Through this plan, when our lives are finished on earth, we will go to live in the Kingdom of Heaven where God rules and reigns.
Thus more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus the SON of God, was born of a virgin into the world, and He loved man just as God His Father des. Because of His great love for every man, including you and me, He was willing to suffer death in our place. He took the punishment that was to come upon us, and God forgave us for Christ’s sake. Not because we deserve it, but because our creator loves us.
False religious leaders saw how the people were drawn to Jesus and how they worshiped Him. They became so jealous and envious that they put Him to death by crucifixion. They did not know that in so doing they were fulfilling the awesome plan which would redeem man from his falling state.
So in the spirit and soul of Christ were placed the sins of the entire world from the beginning to the end. In the terrible agony of that hour, when Christ took the sins and sorrow of the world upon Himself, God turned His face from His Son. Because God cannot look upon sin, He turned away even from His only begotten Son, so that even Christ Himself cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Christ paid the penalty of death and separation from God so that man once again could have fellowship with God. When Christ had finished His work, He arose from the grave after three days, He talked with many of His followers and disciples and told them again that all who would accept Him as savior and Lord would find that He would come and dwell in their hearts.
Then, as He was talking to His disciples, He ascended into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Farther. But before Christ ascended into Heaven, He made another great and startling promise: He said He would come again and take those who are living and watching for Him, to Heaven! In other words, some may die before Jesus returns, but will instantly be taken to Heaven and given a perfect and immortal body-not the one we now have. Even before Jesus revealed this event to His followers, some of the great of old prophesied of this second coming of the Son of God (even before Christ had come the first time).
From these prophecies and from the words of Christ, we can know of the many signs which show that His coming is very near. When He will returns for those who believe and trust in Him, the bible tells us those still on earth will go through seven years of great tribulation as satan, in revenge and ager, unleashes his terrible evil upon the earth. He will have his own ruler, called the antichrist, who will kill many who want to live for Christ. After seven years Christ will set up the Kingdom of God on earth. Satan will be bound; wars will cease; and golden age of history will begin. Those who faithfully live for God and look for Jesus’ return will live with God forever and rule with Him in His Kingdom.
A careful study of the bible reveals much information concerning the time of Christ’s return. Although no one is to know the day or the hour, no not angels, neither Christ Himself, but only the Father “32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32), God’s people are to know the times and the seasons, fort the day is not to overtake them unawares as thief, “4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thess. 5:4).
Yet even the closet followers of Christ were not altogether clear as to the time the Lord would return. Some though He would come back in their lifetime. However, Christ taught that the time of His absence would be long. He declared His going away would be as a man “travelling into a far country” who would return “after a long time” “14 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods…19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” (Matt. 25:14, 19).