Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jesus, The True and Final Prophet

There was under the Law some rules laid out for knowing if a man, claiming to be a prophet sent from God, was telling the truth or not.  First of all whatever he said was going to happen had to actually come to pass.  Obviously if God had told him something was going to happen it had to come to pass or the man was mistaken or lying.  Either way God is never mistaken so they at once knew he was a liar and he was to be stoned.  We read this in Deut. 18:20-22:  But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.'   And if you say in your heart, 'How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'-- when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
But what if someone came along and not only claimed to be a prophet, but he did some miracles or what he prophesied actually came to pass?  Deu 13:1-3 speaks to this scenario "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,  and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,'  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 
The proof then of a false prophet is that he tries to turn them from the true God.  In both cases such a false prophet was to be rejected and stoned.  Now we come to Jesus who was under this same law.  He came with all the right credentials doing signs and wonders but he passes the two most crucial tests.  His mission is to get people to worship the God of the Covenant; thus the true God and he prophesies.  There is one such prophecy that is especially important found in John 2:19 “Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."  He puts himself on the spot; if I don’t rise from the grave then according to the Law you must reject what I say.  But, if I rise from the dead, then I have legally passed all the requirements, my credentials come from God himself. 
Then, far from rejecting him, they are required to believe him; all he said becomes our moral obligation to believe and obey.  The resurrection proves all that needs to be proved about the Bible.  The God who spoke it sent his prophet to confirm it.  Everything Jesus taught must be believed; He is equal to the Father, the second Person of the Godhead, we are justified by faith alone because the Father accepted the sacrifice of his Son; the given of his Spirit gives us the power not to sin but actually be able to please the Lord, he is the final and fullest revelation of God to man, and on and on it goes.  Ironically the Jews killed Jesus not because he was proven to be a false prophet but because he was the True Prophet but they would not have a suffering King as their King.  When he rises from the dead confirming his office, they remain firm in their sin and make up a lie that he was not raised but his body was stolen.  Historically the Jews of Jesus’ day knew the grave was empty and however it happened, it did so while a company of Roman soldiers watched.
It all just goes to show how the Bible fits together in all its parts and there are no parts that are unimportant.

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