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The School of the prophets: God's rules


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41 replies to this topic

#31
Stranger

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iforrest

 

You give me a warning yet don't respond to the question?      You shouldn't be a moderator who engages in the discussion if you don't want to have to answer as everyone else does.  

 

Stranger


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#32
Michael V Pardo

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One is a prophet because God so declares him a prophet.  Can that prophet speak contrary to what God wants him to say?  Of Course.  But, he is still a prophet of God.

 

Where in Jonah is there an example of Jonah taking away from God's word?

 

Stranger

Actually, I'd heard preachers teach that Jonah changed the message and left out repentance, but looking at the book again (which I've read dozens of times) I couldn't actually find a place where God's message for Nineveh even included repentance, so perhaps "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!," was the entire message and these radio preachers just embellished the scripture to make their interpretation of the events fit (I've recognized some stretching of the truth on more than one occasion from the radio, but more typically over things like tithing or something which would benefit the growth of the ministry.)


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#33
Michael V Pardo

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Can you provide some specific Scriptures that show exceptions to the definitions and descriptions I provided?  Where do you see a prophet in the Bible receive a revelation from God through a means other than a vision, audible voice or dream in which God speaks to them?  

I'm not seeing a prophet receive revelation through other mechanisms in scripture except by God's finger writing (God wrote the ten commandments on the tablets that Moses provided with His finger (and did it twice.))

However, other participants in the discussion have already mentioned a few things which go against your list, one being that Jonah, one of God's genuine prophets, declared to Nineveh, "Yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown" and this just didn't happen.

Also we find in the book of Deuteronomy: 1.  "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2.  "and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you comes to pass, saying, `Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us serve them,' 3.  "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. Deuteronomy 13:1-3

I realize that this is a kind of "IF/then" statement and could be called hypothetical, but God tells us here that He tests His peoples faithfulness to His name by allowing a prophet to arise, predict a sign or wonder successfully, and while trying to draw people away to worship other gods. Has this ever happened? We know from scripture that Pharaoh had court magicians that were able to duplicate at least some of the signs that Moses was given to perform by God as proof of his authority.

So, at least in a few examples we have seen false prophets (the magicians) perform signs that occurred and at least one of God's prophets predict something that didn't happen in the time frame predicted. Defining the prophet is easy if you just say that the prophet speaks for God, but the test of the prophet is not that what he predicts takes place (though it should) but whether or not He speaks in the name of God and according to the scripture (the revealed word of God.)

With regard to Moses uniqueness in speaking to God face to face, we also see Abraham speak to "the Lord" when he is visited prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We see the same thing as well with  Manoah's wife speaking with God prior to the birth of Samson (in the book of Judges.) I'm not sure that these are the only examples, but they come to mind readily.


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#34
Michael V Pardo

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iforrest

 

You give me a warning yet don't respond to the question?      You shouldn't be a moderator who engages in the discussion if you don't want to have to answer as everyone else does.  

 

Stranger

Stranger, no one really has to answer anything if they don't want to and I suspect that there are a number of miscommunications going on in the process. I haven't seen much of anything to disagree with you in these posts and there's nothing wrong with asking for clarification on a statement made by someone here, but there is a tendency for folks to bait each other on these forums when they don't get the responses that they anticipate or desire (I know that I've been guilty of as much.) So, lets try to play nice and make our posts pleasing to our Lord and edifying to the church. Please don't misunderstand, I have no desire to bait or annoy you, but I need to be reminded of these things myself, and I consider this line of study to be of primary importance to those that God will raise up as prophets in the "tribulation" period leading to Jesus' return.

So, if you have more to offer, please do, but I think that we would all prefer to see scriptural references of some sort in the presentation of any argument. We all have opinions, but these don't really carry any weight. The word of God, the scripture, is the source of our argument (or should be) as well as the source of our faith, so what does it matter if men disagree or perhaps misunderstand? There's no way to convince anyone of anything short of showing them and with some people, even that isn't enough or they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of Glory. Take care and may the Lord bless your efforts at making peace with all men (that's a tough one.)


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#35
Stranger

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Stranger, no one really has to answer anything if they don't want to and I suspect that there are a number of miscommunications going on in the process. I haven't seen much of anything to disagree with you in these posts and there's nothing wrong with asking for clarification on a statement made by someone here, but there is a tendency for folks to bait each other on these forums when they don't get the responses that they anticipate or desire (I know that I've been guilty of as much.) So, lets try to play nice and make our posts pleasing to our Lord and edifying to the church. Please don't misunderstand, I have no desire to bait or annoy you, but I need to be reminded of these things myself, and I consider this line of study to be of primary importance to those that God will raise up as prophets in the "tribulation" period leading to Jesus' return.

So, if you have more to offer, please do, but I think that we would all prefer to see scriptural references of some sort in the presentation of any argument. We all have opinions, but these don't really carry any weight. The word of God, the scripture, is the source of our argument (or should be) as well as the source of our faith, so what does it matter if men disagree or perhaps misunderstand? There's no way to convince anyone of anything short of showing them and with some people, even that isn't enough or they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of Glory. Take care and may the Lord bless your efforts at making peace with all men (that's a tough one.)

 

Play nice to whoever you desire.  Don't instruct me to.  

 

Stranger


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#36
Stranger

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Actually, I'd heard preachers teach that Jonah changed the message and left out repentance, but looking at the book again (which I've read dozens of times) I couldn't actually find a place where God's message for Nineveh even included repentance, so perhaps "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!," was the entire message and these radio preachers just embellished the scripture to make their interpretation of the events fit (I've recognized some stretching of the truth on more than one occasion from the radio, but more typically over things like tithing or something which would benefit the growth of the ministry.)

 

So, what is your point?  And, where in the book of Jonah is there an example of Jonah taking away from God's word?

 

Stranger


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#37
Wormwood

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God can be moved but he also knows that he will be moved by his foreknowledge.  But when we pray we have no knowledge of God's plans except a general idea from his word.  If we didn't pray God would know that in advance as well.  Whenever God relents, he has known he would do so beforehand. So he placed Moses in his way and made Jonah go to Nineveh.  As for the deceiving spirit and Rahab, it appears God has no qualms with getting willing people to do the dirty work to accomplish his plans.

 

Rahab was righteous despite her lying, not because of it.

 

No, it was her deception that saved the Israelites...which saved her by virtue of saving them!

 

Consider these verses...

 

 

“Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.” (Jeremiah 18:5–10, ESV)  

 

 

I agree that God foreknows our futures. I am not debating that.  I just think that God can really intend to do something and change his mind because of the free will choices of people.  God did relent because of Ninevah's repentance even though he intended their destruction.  I don't think he was "withholding information."  I think he really intended on destroying them but was swayed by their repentance and cries for mercy.

 

I just believe it is a bit of a mystery.  I know God foresees our future, but I also know our prayers cause Him to move when he would otherwise not.  It is not just a predetermined future with God pulling all the strings.  He truly does let us choose and our choices make a difference in eternity.


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#38
Wormwood

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I'm not seeing a prophet receive revelation through other mechanisms in scripture except by God's finger writing (God wrote the ten commandments on the tablets that Moses provided with His finger (and did it twice.))

However, other participants in the discussion have already mentioned a few things which go against your list, one being that Jonah, one of God's genuine prophets, declared to Nineveh, "Yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown" and this just didn't happen.

Also we find in the book of Deuteronomy: 1.  "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2.  "and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you comes to pass, saying, `Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us serve them,' 3.  "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. Deuteronomy 13:1-3

I realize that this is a kind of "IF/then" statement and could be called hypothetical, but God tells us here that He tests His peoples faithfulness to His name by allowing a prophet to arise, predict a sign or wonder successfully, and while trying to draw people away to worship other gods. Has this ever happened? We know from scripture that Pharaoh had court magicians that were able to duplicate at least some of the signs that Moses was given to perform by God as proof of his authority.

So, at least in a few examples we have seen false prophets (the magicians) perform signs that occurred and at least one of God's prophets predict something that didn't happen in the time frame predicted. Defining the prophet is easy if you just say that the prophet speaks for God, but the test of the prophet is not that what he predicts takes place (though it should) but whether or not He speaks in the name of God and according to the scripture (the revealed word of God.)

With regard to Moses uniqueness in speaking to God face to face, we also see Abraham speak to "the Lord" when he is visited prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We see the same thing as well with  Manoah's wife speaking with God prior to the birth of Samson (in the book of Judges.) I'm not sure that these are the only examples, but they come to mind readily.

 

 

Michael, 

 

First, let me agree with you on two counts.  1). I agree with you completely that signs are not the only indicator of a true prophet.  I hope you did not get the impression from me that the only thing that matters is whether signs accompany the prophet.  I think that is an important element for most prophets we see in Scripture (which is why the enemy often did counterfeit miracles when God spoke to his people in this way).  However, it was still imperative to test their message with the revelation already provided from God.  We know God does not contradict himself.   So I agree with you there. Signs were not the sole determination of a true prophet. 2). I also agree with you that many of God's prophets gave conditional predictions.  God's judgment was coming IF the people did not repent.  Yet, my point is that if the people ignored the prophecy or the prophecy was not conditional...a true prophets message was always substantiated by God's moving as a result of the promise.  

 

Now, my original point was to address the means by which a prophecy comes to a prophet...or how an individual is declared to be a prophet.  We simply do not see, anywhere in the Bible, someone assigning to themselves the title of "prophet."  God spoke to them, they didn't decide this for themselves because they felt very passionate about the impressions they had.  Nor do I think the "school" of prophets was a place where someone went to learn it as a craft.  Also, we do not see prophets prophesying out of their own gut feelings or imaginations....at least not true prophets.  So, my point is simply this:

If someone claims to be a modern-day prophet, they must:  1) Have received a direct revelation from God via vision or voice (or I suppose God could write on a tablet or wall in a Belshazzar's palace), and 2) Have a message that comes true (unless a condition is met whereby the prediction is nullified).  

 

So, I guess my question for you and any other person who claims to be a prophet today is, "Has God audibly spoken, and continues to speak a specific revelation to you to share with a person or group of people, or have you received a clear vision by which you were shown/told a message to share with a person or group of people?"  If not, how is it that you determine yourself to be a prophet since that is what we see with every prophet narrative and description of how a prophet received their message in Scripture?  If so, what is the specific message and to whom are you supposed to deliver it?

 

In my experience, pretty much every person who declares themselves to be a prophet claims their proclamations come to them as impulses in the moment or inclinations they have in a situation.  This is simply not what we see with Biblical prophets (at least not those who are not declared to be false).  Moreover, pretty much every "prophecy" I have heard is vague and a general regurgitation of Scripture that really has no specific predictive or prescriptive element.  It may be a "biblical" thing they are saying, but I certainly wouldn't classify it as "prophetic."  Finally, I have also heard many self-proclaimed prophets make predictions that do not come true.  Of course they often have some rationale but rarely are such people held accountable or warned about speaking on behalf of the Lord things that have been false.  

 

Anyway, those are my concerns I was trying to address. 


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#39
mjrhealth

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Funny thing about prophets, If a prophet warns the people to repent or else and they dont and teh event happens, he is hated for bringing violnece to them, if the event doesnt happen than He is despised as a failure and a liar, such is the world of the true prophet who walks alone with God,


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The words that I SPEAK they are spirit and they are life. You search the scriptures, reading them thinking they bring you life, and they testify of Me yet you wont come to me so that you can have eternal life.


#40
bbyrd009

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12After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 


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Who told you that you were naked?


#41
lforrest

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iforrest

 

You give me a warning yet don't respond to the question?      You shouldn't be a moderator who engages in the discussion if you don't want to have to answer as everyone else does.  

 

Stranger

 

I only respond if I deem it constructive to do so, and also avoid making hasty replies.  When I think a terse response will work I use it.

 

I should also remind you that moderator actions should not be discussed. Rules


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#42
lforrest

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I just believe it is a bit of a mystery.  I know God foresees our future, but I also know our prayers cause Him to move when he would otherwise not.  It is not just a predetermined future with God pulling all the strings.  He truly does let us choose and our choices make a difference in eternity.

 

I agree that prayers do have an effect on the future.  Its like the future is laid out as a road and God can change its course at will, such as when he answers a prayer or judges or forgives a nation.  I say this because the future threat in a dream, vision, or word of knowledge can seem very real.  I have been right about this at least twice before by praying or acting preemptively.

 

 

Numbers 12:6-7

 

he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
    I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
    he is faithful in all my house.

 

 

This seems to point to a different classes of prophets.  And it is also apparent that Moses was trusted more.


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