-Introduction-

Call it intuition but for many, the feeling is one of dread, as though something terrible is about to happen. For a few others, it is more like a nervous anticipation. God has placed it on hearts that he is about to perform his wonders. Events foretold long ago soon will take place.

During a Bible study, our discussion turned to Israel and Judah, and their rebellious past. Before God punished them, we saw that the Lord sent prophets to warn everyone about what was coming. George, a bright student, had been listening intently. He raised his hand; then he asked, “Where are the prophets? Shouldn’t we be seeing them?”

I heard myself responding, “They’re coming. They’re coming.”

George’s question ignited a fire somewhere inside me. He drew a logical connection between God’s history of dealing with his people and our decadent culture. Since the Lord does not change, we can accurately predict future outcomes—like, for instance, a future mass invasion of The Prophets of God (Malachi 3:6a).

The sudden appearance of God’s fiery prophets, at the end, is rarely taught; at least that is my experience. These bold ambassadors will come in advance to prepare the way for the Lord, but who are the prophets? In short, they are Spirit-filled servants, appointed and anointed by God to confirm what the Bible states about the future (Revelation 19:10).

This book is not for everybody. It is intended to serve as an objective guide for God’s people. “Where are the prophets like Elijah?” It is not quite time for them yet—but it will be soon! They are coming!

April 13, 2013

Who Are the Prophets?

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him

and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,

or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed he will not break,

and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

In faithfulness, he will bring forth justice;

 he will not falter or be discouraged

till he establishes justice on earth.

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;

I will take hold of your hand.

I will keep you and will make you

to be a covenant for the people

and a light for the Gentiles,

to open eyes that are blind,

to free captives from prison

and to release from the dungeon

those who sit in darkness.

“I am the LORD; that is my name!

I will not give my glory to another

or my praise to idols.

See, the former things have taken place,

and new things I declare;

before they spring into being

I announce them to you.”

Isaiah 42:1-4a, 6-9

The beginning

Only the God of the Bible accurately declares what will soon take place. What other god announces his plans through his prophets and then fulfills them? What other god is “the First and the Last,” “the Beginning and the End?” Who reveals what happened before time and when time is no more? Where else but in the Bible can seekers go to get the truth about what is coming?

In creation and in prophecy, the Lord distances himself from all other gods and/or religions. Since creation is past, the debate about origins is open to skeptics and religious zealots. Prophecy alone settles the matter regarding who is telling the truth. Only one God, the One who calls himself Creator, can make the claim of complete accuracy regarding future events and then back it up.

Actually, the whole Bible is prophetic. In Genesis 3, for example, after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the Lord pronounced a curse on the ground that he had blessed at creation. Then he declared punishment on the woman and destruction upon the serpent.

To the serpent, God said,

“And I will put enmity

between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head,

and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

This prophecy foretells Christ’s future agony and victory. We learn that there remains hostility (enmity) between God and the serpent. The woman’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head, putting an end to his wicked ways. Before it is over, the serpent will strike a blow as well.

April 24, 2013  From Chapter #2

The prophet Daniel wanted to know where he stood in the big scheme of things. He realized that God was sovereign. He understood the captivity of his people was just punishment for their sin. Instead of bemoaning his misfortune as an exile, Daniel thrived under Babylonian and Persian rule. He followed the directions that God gave through Jeremiah a half century before when he told Jews to settle in and be a blessing to the Babylonians and their land (Jeremiah 29:4-11).

After a while, Daniel sought to know God’s next move. How did he find out what it was? He read Jeremiah’s prophecy. From it, Daniel received understanding; then he acted on it. It is what anticipators do.

For us, the principle is the same. We need to go to the inspired source, just as Daniel did, then take action on what the Lord reveals.

…in the first year of his [King Darius of Persia] reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel 9:2-3

The desire to know what God was going to do with his people drove Daniel, the Lord’s servant, into inspired prophecy. The seventy years of captivity was nearly over. Through Jeremiah, God alerted Daniel he was preparing his people, the Jews, to return to Jerusalem.

May 6, 2013 From Chapter #3

It seems tending a flock was great preparation for a prophet such as David. For decades, Moses tended his father-in-law’s sheep on the backside of the desert. The experience helped him lead God’s flock, the Israelites, under the same severe conditions.

As Jesus began his ministry, he went to the shores of Galilee to gather his disciples. Christ chose men that labored daily to support their family. Christ chose ordinary men to spread the gospel. He saw the people were like sheep in need of a shepherd (Matthew 9:26-38).

To whom this may concern: Perhaps a menacing voice has persuaded you that you are insignificant. Your education and training do not impress anyone. Serious mistakes have marred your past. You may be surprised to know that your past, in fact, qualifies you to be a prophet rather than disqualifies you.

As you read this, be aware that God rarely chooses his special servants from among the beautiful people, the intellectual class, the religious elite or the wealthy set. God looks strictly at the heart.

May 20, 2013 From Chapter #4

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,

because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:

Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.

This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1st John 4:1-3

Just as John warned, many false prophets have gone out into the world. Flooding the news in these last days are false prophets and their lies. As with a poison pill, what false prophets say cannot harm us unless we swallow it. Unfortunately, many will swallow their lies.

According to God’s Word, every prophecy coming from someone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of the enemy. If the predictor does acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, we test the spirits anyway.

Remember: The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10c). Does the prophecy repeat Jesus’ testimony about the future or confirm what we read elsewhere in the Word of God or not? If the prophecy does not pass the Spirit of God test, then its purpose is to mislead, misdirect or confuse. By causing fear and doubt, we can be certain that lying prophets do Satan’s work.

Whose report will we believe? There is a severe penalty for not believing the report of the Lord given by means of his prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18-19, John 12:48).

June 1, 2013 From Chapter #5

Foreshadowed in the Bible, from Genesis to Malachi, are signs regarding the coming of Christ the Messiah and his future ministry. What we often overlook in these prophesies are the Old Testament appearances of Christ in physical form. If we were to ask members of certain religious groups if God ever appeared on earth in human flesh, their answer would be an emphatic “No!” Many that claim they are Christians by faith yet deny Christ’s full equality with the Father, would give the same negative response. No, God never appeared as a man.

Groups such as Muslims, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses must deny that Christ is God or else be compelled to worship him as Lord of lords. Proof for Jesus’ equality with God and his eternality (a word meaning that Christ always was and will forever be) is in our Bible.

The Son of God shows himself in Scripture thousands of years before his birth in Bethlehem. Granted, Jesus’ name does not flash across the page in bright lights; still the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt. In the examples we will look at, Jesus appears to those with whom he is intimate, each man needing in on his plan.

June 12, 2013 From Chapter #6

Harder than flint

It takes amazing inner strength to fulfill the role of God’s prophets. They have to be made of the hardest material. In the same way diamonds or a laser can cut through anything, prophets alone are able to penetrate a world dominated by the powers of darkness.

In Ezekiel 3, God counseled his young prophet on toughness. The fresh recruit to spiritual warfare would need thick skin and a hard head if he was to impose God’s will on a stubborn and stiff-necked people.

“But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 3:7-9 

If prophets are to make a dent in a wicked world, they must be more forceful than their opposition is resistant. Imposing God’s will on evil is the only way to overcome it. The irresistible power of God can move mountains (Matthew 17:20-21). Prophets maintain a creed similar to that of Frederick the Great, the 18th century Prussian leader, whose battle cry became, “Boldness, boldness; each day boldness.”

June 17, 2013 From Chapter #7

Wanted: Dead or dead

John the Baptist’s words to Herod the Tetrarch enraged the king’s new wife, Queen Herodias. “For John had been saying to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’” (Matthew 14:4)

King Herod married Herodias after she left Philip, his brother. Because of John’s popularity with the people and reputation as a prophet, Herod was afraid to kill him, so he had him placed in prison (Matthew 14:1-5, Mark 6:17-20).

From his prison cell, John the Baptist sent a few of his disciples on a mission. They were to question Jesus on John’s behalf. “Why did he not stir Herod’s hatred the way a prophet should?”

It must have disturbed John. Jesus did not seem willing to confront Herod’s sin. Why was the prophet John alone among the outspoken enemies of the king? Was Jesus the prophet who was to come or should they expect someone else? (Matthew 11:2-3)

John’s messengers received this answer from the Lord:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

Matthew 11:4-6

Jesus offered John visual evidence that he was the Christ. John understood from Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah was to be a voice of one crying in the desert (Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:4-6, Isaiah 40:3). Jesus had to remind John of what else Isaiah prophesied. Had he not healed the sick or bound up the injured of the flock, could he be the promised Shepherd of Israel? (Ezekiel 34:4, Psalm 23)

June 30, 2013 From Chapter #9

Here they come!

A multitude is on the way. Frontline prophets will soon appear to battle Jesus’ enemies. Satan, however, has an evil counter-plan. His scheme is to scatter the counterfeit seed among the genuine.

“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Matthew 24:10-11

A time of great deception highlights the end of this age (Matthew 24:4, Mark 13:5). We learn from Jesus ahead of time that many false prophets will appear in the last days. When the counterfeits show up, it will be like a flood. They will deceive many people.

For emphasis, Jesus repeated his warning:

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.”

Matthew 24:23-25

“Be on guard!” is our Lord’s encouragement to his disciples living in the last days. Future deception includes great signs and miracles. False Christs and false prophets will be performing them! Christians that believe every sign and wonder comes from God will be vulnerable. People tend to listen uncritically to messages that follow miracles. It can be one of the devil’s tricks. Jesus has told us ahead of time!

August 6, 2013 From Chapter #10

Healings

It seems that wherever Jesus traveled, people brought their sick and afflicted. They came from the surrounding countryside and the Lord healed them all (Matthew 8:16, 14:13-15, et. al.).

When it came to healing the sick, Jesus never held back. He encouraged those with him to follow his example. Jesus sent his disciples out with these specific instructions:

“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.”

Matthew 10:7-10

Jesus’ message was “the kingdom of heaven is near.” He clearly told his disciples to heal, raise the dead and cleanse the leper, but do not accept any payment. After all, it cost them nothing to receive this gift from God; how could they charge for the miracle?

Celebrity healers who perform healings for an offering confuse “the kingdom of heaven is near” message. All the signs of wealth they display also conflict with specific instructions given to Jesus’ disciples.


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