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A Look at Prophecy #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2022 8:00 am

A Look at Prophecy #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 1, 2022 8:00 am

Last time, Pastor Don Green discussed both the nature of Biblical prophecy and its limitations. He emphasized how exacting God's requirements are for those who claim to speak the very words of God and that for imposters, death is called for. On today's broadcast, Pastor Don will describe the moral requirements of a true prophet. Have your Bible handy.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Are we to believe that God guides his people now through an obviously lesser method of prophecy than what the people in the Old Testament had?

It's foolish. Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is teaching God's people God's Word. Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. Today, Don concludes a message titled, A Look at Prophecy, as we continue our series, The Holy Spirit Today. Last time, Don discussed both the nature of biblical prophecy and its limitations. He emphasized how exacting God's requirements are for those who claim to speak the very words of God, and that for impostors, death is called for. On today's broadcast, Don will describe the moral requirements of a true prophet.

So friend, have your Bible handy as we join our teacher now on the Truth Pulpit. Thirdly, God required complete moral integrity as well. Look at Jeremiah again, chapter 23. Jeremiah 23, in verses 13 and 14. Again, verses 13 and 14.

It's kind of cool. 6, 14, 23. He required complete moral integrity. Jeremiah 23, verse 13. It says, Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria, that was the northern kingdom, I saw an offensive thing. They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. Also, among the prophets of Jerusalem, I have seen a horrible thing. The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood, and they strengthened the hands of evildoers so that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to me like Sodom and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Judgment rained down, right?

He said, These false prophets who are walking in sin, practicing adultery, walking in falsehood, strengthening wicked men and their deeds, they are like unto me the people that I have judged in the past. Complete moral integrity. Moral integrity, prophetic accuracy, theological accuracy. A hundred percent.

A hundred percent of the time. Now, to speak the words of the Lord then in this way to say the words of God are on my lips was a high and sacred duty that only those who really had the gift should be doing. But, because there is so much power and influence to be had by claiming that God has spoken to you, because in our day and age, there's a lot of money to be made by men claiming that God has spoken to them, speaking to gullible people who have loose minds and loose wallets. You can make a lot of money this way, but for those that truly fear the Lord and fear the God who has revealed himself in his word, we realize that this is a high and sacred duty that is not to be trifled with. God established high standards to protect his word. Perfect accuracy, perfect fulfillment, moral integrity, a violation of which subjected a man, made him liable to death.

How much more serious can this be? Now, you follow this theme into the New Testament. We're not going to take the time to look at the role of New Testament prophets, but what you find in the New Testament is that in the New Testament era, there was a temporary gift of a New Testament prophet given to the church in that transitional age, where God gave revelation awaiting the fulfillment of the work of the apostles and the completion of the canon.

What you find, if you follow this through, if you study it through, we're not going to take time for it today. What you find is that the terms that are used to refer to prophets in the Old Testament and New Testament are used interchangeably. You can study this through in the book of Acts. When it refers to Old Testament prophets, New Testament prophets, it's speaking about them in the same terms in the same way, indicating that the standards were the same of accuracy and orthodoxy.

And so, what are we to say about this? How do we take what I said at the introduction, sola scriptura, and look at what's said about prophets in the Bible? We believe that God revealed Himself in past times, that He spoke through prophets, He spoke through the apostles, but that that time of revelation has ceased. It is over. There were prophets in the Old and New Testaments, but like apostles, like signs, like wonders, that office has ceased.

It is over. And sola scriptura helps us to understand why that is the case. But now, prominent voices in the so-called church disagree with that statement. They say that God does speak to individual Christians today, apart from the 66 books of the Bible, in addition to the 66 books of the Bible.

And this has a lot of consequences, and so I want to take just a few moments to address it. Wayne Grudem is a defender of today's charismatic prophecies. He's a Reformed theologian. His systematic theology, in some parts, is excellent and helpful. But when he gets into spiritual gifts, beloved, if you have his systematic theology, take an exacto knife and cut those chapters out and throw them away with fear and trembling, because he's not reliable in this area. He believes that a gift of prophecy operates in the church today.

And he has said this. I'm quoting from a couple of his different books and what I'm about to say. He says that today there is prophecy, and he defines prophecy as this in the New Testament age. He says prophecy is, quote, telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.

Let me say that again. He defines prophecy as someone in the church today telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind. An idea pops in their mind, and they say this is a prophecy from the Lord. And so he leaves us open to the fact that God speaks through audible voices or subjective impressions. And so in that realm of thought, in that realm of understanding, they can easily say God told me such and such. Now, as you read on, before you go any further, you should ask the question, does the prophecy of which he speaks conform to the pattern of biblical accuracy, of 100% accuracy that we've been developing from Deuteronomy and Jeremiah?

What does he say about this prophecy? Well, let me remind you of something that I said about healings and about tongues. I said nobody's doing the biblical gift today. They do not do it because they cannot do it. And so they have to define the gifts down to something that is completely sub-biblical.

That is exactly what is happening here. Here's what he says about this so-called gift of prophecy, and I quote. He said, all must recognize that, I'm quoting Wayne Grudem, I'm not advocating this, I'm quoting it only to refute it.

Grudem says this, quote, all must recognize that the revelation is partial and may not be clear to the person prophesying and may contain elements of mistaken understanding or interpretation on the part of the person prophesying. That ends one quote. Let me quote again. Quote, most charismatic teachers today would agree that contemporary prophecy is not equal to Scripture in authority. There is almost uniform testimony from all sections of the charismatic movement that prophecy is imperfect and impure and will contain elements that are not to be obeyed or trusted. End quote. Why in the world are you using the biblical term prophecy, the word of God, the word of truth, 100% accuracy, to describe that which in the same breath you're saying it's impure, it's inaccurate.

What on earth are you doing? Why are you foisting this cancer upon the church? This has nothing to do with the biblical gift or the biblical standards by their own definition. But they want to apply the word prophecy to it. See, they want the word healings, miraculous healings. They want the word tongues.

They want the word prophecy. But in every case they have to define it down so that it is not the supernatural thing of which God spoke and which God did in biblical times. It's not the same. As I've said before, you've got a giraffe with a long neck in front of you. It doesn't change into a dog just because you call it a dog. It's still a giraffe.

Its constituent elements have not changed simply because you apply the wrong term to describe it. Think, beloved, of how the prophets spoke in the Old Testament. Thus saith the Lord. With clear authority, pronouncing, without hesitation, without qualification, this is what God has said. And look and review the course of biblical history and see how God vindicated them and how Isaiah 700 years before the time could prophesy of a virgin birth and 700 years later it comes to perfect fulfillment. Think of how they spoke of the glories of Christ to come, spoke of his death. Isaiah 53 spoke of his resurrection and these things all come to pass.

That's the real thing. Not what I'm about to describe to you. You ask, how is the prophecy of which today's continuationists, how is this to function?

What does it look like? I couldn't make this up. I wouldn't make this up. And yet this has great influence within the so-called Christian church. Dr. Grudem says this, and I quote, if someone really does think God is bringing something to mind which should be reported in the congregation, remember this is his gift of prophecy. This is his gift of prophecy that he's describing how it should operate. He says there's nothing wrong with saying, I think the Lord is putting on my mind. Or, it seems to me that the Lord is showing us, or some similar expression.

So you qualify it. You're making suggestions now in the name of prophecy. I kind of think that the Lord may be doing this. Beloved, that's not biblical prophecy at all. Does it sound like God's revelation to you?

I ask you. Does this sound like the God of authority, the God of truth speaking through someone and it comes out? I think God might be saying this, but what do you guys think? This is not prophecy at all. Does this sound like God's prophecy to you? You know, God's revelation that must always be 100% accurate in doctrine and predictive precision all the time with no exceptions upon pain of the death penalty?

Is that what they're talking about? Has nothing to do with what they're talking about. Except that they've misappropriated the biblical term prophecy to describe their modern practice.

Let me ask the same question in a different way. I'm indebted to the author Sam Waldron from his excellent book to be continued for this thought. Old Testament, New Testament. Old Covenant, New Covenant. Old Testament shadows, animal sacrifices. New Testament, Christ, the reality, the light, the fullness of revelation, God's final word. Scripture talks about the New Covenant being better than the Old Covenant. We now have Christ, not shadows. We now have the perfect one-time sacrifice on the cross, not repeated animal sacrifices.

You get the point. New Covenant, it's a better covenant. It's better than what came before. Are we to believe that God guides his people now through an obviously lesser method of prophecy than what the people in the Old Testament had? It's foolish.

If something's better, it's going to be better, not a huge step down. Now, beloved, when you consider all of these things, you need to remember that the New Testament warned us that this very kind of thing, this introduction of false prophecy would come into the church. It warned us again and again and again. The fact that people fall for this stuff is not God's fault because he warned us in his sufficient word, which he closed the book on, said, pay attention, give heed to what I've said here.

He warned us repeatedly. Look at Matthew chapter 24. This is part of the biblical limitation on prophecy.

I'm building up to a conclusion here. Matthew 24. Matthew 24 verse 11 says, many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Verse 24, false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Beloved, it brings me sorrow to read these passages.

I get no pleasure out of this at all. Acts chapter 20. Acts chapter 20 verse 28.

Turn there with me. Acts chapter 20 verse 28. Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. Paul, speaking to the Ephesian elders, said this in verse 29, I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them.

Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. So there's going to be men rising up within the church, from within, from inside the church, speaking perverse things to draw people after them. And in 2 Peter chapter 2, you don't need to turn there, I'll just read this.

2 Peter chapter 2 verse 1. Says this, he said, but false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned, and in their greed they will exploit you with false words, their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Beloved, these are weighty matters of which we're speaking now. We're speaking about authority, we're speaking about the difference between true and false. You know, one of the things that people in charismatic circles will say is that 500 million charismatics can't be wrong.

You know, they just try to overwhelm you with numbers. Well, have you not read in scripture, I would say to them, that many will follow their sensuality? That many will be led astray? That many will say to me on the day of judgment, Lord, Lord, did we not?

That's no argument at all, that's proving my point, if you want to make that argument. And yeah, I'm animated about this, not only out of concern for you and for our church and to protect our church, I'm animated for those outside the walls of our church that are following these kinds of fallacious follies, thinking that they're following the Word of God when they're not. My friend and former co-pastor Phil Johnson has an article that I encourage you to Google, titled Broad Brush, Broad Brush, Painting with a Broad Brush. Google Phil Johnson Broad Brush and it'll pop up on the search results. In that article and in other places as well, it's just that that's a convenient reference.

Phil meticulously documents these things. Charismatic theology is routinely erroneous. Charismatic prophecy routinely does not come to pass.

They're content to have a 20% accuracy and they congratulate themselves on 20% accuracy. Charismatic leaders are routinely greedy and immoral men. I'm not lodging that accusation against Wayne Grudem, just to be clear, I'm talking more broadly about the movement altogether. Their theology is routinely erroneous, their prophecy routinely does not come to pass, their leaders are routinely greedy and immoral. Apply this biblical standard, beloved. 100% doctrinal accuracy, 100% prophetic accuracy, moral integrity, being the standard for true prophets. Look, when you are spectacularly collapsing on every element of that, you have no claim to speak for God whatsoever and the true people of God will look at you and turn their backs on you and not listen to you because you have proven that you are not a prophet of God. It has been established as fact for those who know their Bibles.

Here's the sad thing. The best names in Reformed continuationism give them cover by teaching the kinds of things that I quoted from Wayne Grudem. These men say a lot of good things, a lot of true things in their teachings, but when they open the door for continuing prophecy, they open the door for everyone.

They let the camel in the tent this way and it is sad to see the results of people who've taken cover under the umbrella of men like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and Sam Storms. It is a grievous travesty and tragedy in the Christian church. And beloved, this unbiblical version of prophecy is frightening because it means that anybody can say anything at any time and if we don't apply standards of discernment, the people of God are cast adrift to see. They attribute to the God of truth their statements of error. Beloved, that's not prophecy.

You know what that is? That's blasphemy. It injures the reputation of God and in keeping with our biblical responsibility here in this local body, we reject it.

Sola Scriptura. God speaks in the Bible alone. That conviction will protect you in these confusing days. Will you embrace that conviction even if it costs you friends? Next, we're going to conclude this entire series with a message, God's guidance today. If we're not looking for God's voice today, speaking to us individually in our individual circumstances, where then do we find His guidance?

That's what we want to address. To conclude this whole series, I hope you'll be with us. My friends, there is so much deception in the world. Scripture says that even your own heart is deceitful, sinful, fallen, not a trustworthy vessel in which God would speak. You need revelation outside of yourself, not dependent upon your own thoughts and imaginations. My friends, you need also a savior from outside of yourself and I ask you whether you have truly come to Christ abandoning sin, forsaking all, forsaking the world, forsaking false theology, to come to Him alone for your salvation. You know, the wonder and the hope in everything that we've said here is that towering above all of these things is the reality that Christ has shed His atoning blood for men and women just like you and that He receives everyone who comes to Him humbly, confessing their sin and embracing Him by faith.

Is that you today? That's where the truth leads you. It leads you to the one who Himself is the way, the truth, and the life. Sola Scriptura remain the two most important words to remember when you're exercising biblical discernment as Pastor Don Green has again emphasized today on The Truth Pulpit. Don will bring us more of the series The Holy Spirit today on our next broadcast.

We hope you'll join us then. But Don, if someone in church still claims, God speaks to me every day, how should we respond? Well, that's a great question, Bill, thank you. You know, my friend, we need to distinguish where God truly does speak. He does speak in the Scriptures, in the 66 books of the Bible, but that's different from thinking or saying that He speaks to men individually privately in the spontaneous thoughts of their minds. Scripture and Scripture alone is where God speaks.

My friend, I implore you to trust God's Word and trust God's Word alone. Thanks, Don. And friend, don't forget to visit thetruthpulpit.com. There you can learn more about podcasts and free CDs of Don's teaching, plus so much more. That's all at thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit as Don Green continues in his ministry of teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 11:06:04 / 2023-05-13 11:14:34 / 9

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