The True Prophet of God

DEUTERONOMY 18

15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Among the many wonderful statements Moses said during his three farewell speeches to Israel, one idea in particular captured the imagination of the people. Moses promised that another Prophet would come to the nation.

The Promised Prophet came to be known as the Messiah. Mashiah, in Hebrew, Christos, in Greek, Christ in English, the Prophet would be like Moses. Jesus declared Himself to be the One of whom Moses wrote.

On one occasion, while rebuking the Pharisees for rejecting Him, Jesus said unto them,

“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. …45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:40, 45-47).

“Moses wrote of Me,” said Jesus. Therefore, consider some of the similarities between Moses and Jesus.

Moses was born in humility and placed in a basket.

Jesus was born in obscurity, and laid in a manger. 

Moses was born of a slave.

Jesus identified Himself with those in slavery to sin and death.

Moses lived among royalty.

Jesus is King of kings, and Lord of lords.

Moses was a Divine Deliverer.

Jesus came from Heaven to save His people from their sin.

Moses was a Lawgiver.

Jesus is the Greater Lawgiver. “But I say unto you.”

Moses was a shepherd.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

Moses was willing to die for Israel.

Jesus laid down His life for His sheep.

Moses led Israel to the Promised Land.

Jesus leads His people to a better country.

Moses had the power of life and death over every Israelite.

Jesus conquered death to give life to all who follow Him.

Moses appointed the Aaronic priesthood.

Jesus is the Great High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Moses was a prophet.

Jesus, as Greater Prophet, was the fulfillment of all the prophesies of the Old Testament.

When the Prophet comes, said Moses, “Unto him ye shall hearken.” By telling the people to “hearken” unto the Promised Prophet, Moses did not simply mean to listen to him. The force of the statement by Moses is that Israel was to listen, and obey.

For those who need an incentive to obey the LORD, a good reason is provided by Moses.

Simply enough, the people were to remember the fire on the mountain.

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

Horeb is a general name of the whole mountain of which Sinai was a particular summit.

It was at Sinai that the Law was given. David Wilkerson reconstructs the scene.

“As Israel camped at Mount Sinai, they were suddenly engulfed by thick darkness and an incredible, blazing fire.

Out of the midst of these awesome elements, God spoke:

“These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice” (Deuteronomy 5:22).

The mountains surrounding the Israelites were ablaze, the supernatural fire consuming everything in sight. Thunder cracked as if the earth were splitting in two. And from the midst of it all, God spoke audibly, in a voice that was awesome and almighty.

While all this was happening, the Israelites stood frozen with fear. They were convinced they would die before the voice of the Lord stopped speaking.

According to scripture, even Moses, the great friend of God, “quaked and feared exceedingly.”

They must have thought they were suspended over the mouth of hell.

Finally, the voice stilled. The lightning stopped and the quaking ended. And before long, the sun began to shine.

As the people looked around, they saw everyone was still alive.

It was a miracle. They had heard the actual, audible voice of God, and lived…”

However, their response was surprising. They could not handle such a glorious display of God’s presence.

The people ran to Moses saying, “Let us not hear again the voice of the LORD our God, neither let us see this great fire any more, that we die not.”

What the people wanted was a Mediator. They wanted to hear the word of God through the voice of man.

17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well-spoken that which they have spoken.

In condescending grace, the God of the Fire on the Mountain told Moses, He would honor the prayer of the people. God the Father promised His people, Jesus.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Time and again Jesus said that He only spoke those words which were put in His mouth by the Father.

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me” (John 7:16).

“I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”

When the Law was given at Sinai, there was fire on the mountain, and a prayer for a Prophet of God to come and be a Mediator between God and Man. Jesus is the answer to the peoples prayer.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Jesus is the answer to the prayer of the people at Mt. Sinai.

Jesus is the Prophet like unto Moses.

Jesus is the Mediator between God and Man.

Jesus is the One of whom Moses wrote.

Those who reject the Prophet like unto Moses, those who reject the Mediatorship of Christ, those who turn away from God’s plan of redemption, those who will not hearken, or listen to the Lord, shall be held accountable.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Divine certainty, and human responsibility are united.

The Punishment of a False Prophet

While giving the promise of a coming Prophet-Mediator, Moses knew that charlatans would arrive who would try to deceive the people of God in a variety of ways. Such a person, when exposed, was to be executed.

20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

The judgment for presuming to speak a word in the name of the Lord was severe, because God is absolute truth. In Him there is no lie.

It is impossible for God to lie. A false word of prophesy spoken in the name of the Lord makes God out to be liar, and that is an outrage against pure holiness.

The penalty should be proportional to the crime committed.

In American jurisprudence, there is room in the law for mercy and grace. But the state also bears the sword.

There are certain crimes that demand the death penalty, if justice is to be righteously served, and vigorously enforced.

The issue is not deterrence. The issue is justice that is proper for the offense.

In the Divine economy, God has the ability to show grace and mercy. However, the soul that sins must die. There is a penalty to pay if justice is to be served.

In the Divine economy, God has decreed that the person who speaks as a prophet, who dares to speak in His name, must speak the truth or die the death of the wicked. God will not allow His holiness, His essence, His reputation to be identified with falsehood.

A natural question for such a severe penalty would be this. How can God’s people know if the word which the prophet has spoken is from the LORD?

21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

That is a very important question. The answer is given.

Two Signs of a False Prophet

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

There are two ways to identify a false prophet.

First, if the prophetic utterance does not come to pass, the prophet is proven to be false.

Second, if the failed message of the false prophet incites fear in the hearts of God’s people, he shall be proven to be a manipulator of holy emotions.

God has not given His people the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

The message of a false prophet is championed by sensational predictions, stirring the passions of hatred, while instilling fear.

Make a list of all the false prophets in history and you will find these three elements.

Study the words of the Prophet Mohammad, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Prophetess Ellen G. White, and all the modern-day prophetic pundits with their confusing charts, of which there is no end.

You will find teachings filled with sensationalism, hatred for others, and a message of fear. From such, turn away. Do not listen to them. Do not be afraid.

When you turn from them, return to Jesus, and a sure Word of prophesy, the Bible.

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