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Believer’s Basics #7 – Prophecy (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #7 – Prophecy (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 10, 2022 6:00 am

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The philosophers, they reason, they guess, they come up with ideas, but the prophets, they didn't speak as men who just reasoned through things, they spoke as men who saw them, who were there. That's what Peter said. In fact, right before this passage that we read this morning, Peter said, the Lord promised to me how I would leave this life, my exodus. That was prophecy.

And Peter was saying it hasn't happened yet, but it's going to happen. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believer's Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter chapter 1. Let's join Pastor Rick for part one of his message called Prophecy.

This morning's topic is prophecy. We're going to read verses 16 through 21. But we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to him from the excellent glory.

This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this verse that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.

For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. I think it's some of the most beautiful words in all the Scripture right there. Those 16, those verses from verses 16 to the end and verse 21. They say so much. Our text is verse 19.

That is going to set the pace for us this morning. And so we have also a more sure word of prophecy, which you do well to heed as a light shines in a dark place. Now, I have opted to read the alternate rendering in the New King James. You have it where it says there in verse 19. So we have the prophetic word and in the margin and alternate the more sure word. That is a better translation.

Again, the translators, they have such a heavy job before them when they begin to make a translation, but there are places where you scratch your head a little bit and say they missed the better option of the ones that were before them. Well, when Peter spoke of the power of the predicted word of God, and that's what he is talking about here when he mentions prophecy, the predicted word of God. He spoke about, he was speaking about the divine mark that is on Christianity and on no one else. This element, this feature, it is power to refute the lies about God and about man. It is power to refute the voice of the devil. It is the voice of prophecy, which is the voice of God.

And we have quite a bit to say about it. These early believers, they did not suffer and die for fables. They died for what they saw with their own eyes, what they lived through with their own lives.

And as best they could, they preserved it for us. And Peter is talking about that. He said, I was on the Mount of Transfiguration. I heard the voice. I heard the Father.

I was there. But better than that, Peter says, better than my witness is the prophetic word, is that this was called out in prophecy, the life of Christ, the coming of Messiah was predicted long before the events came about. And not only do we have messianic prophecies that have already been fulfilled and that will be fulfilled and that we're watching getting in place to be fulfilled, we have other prophecies in scripture already that have come to pass along with the messianic prophecies. So again, now look at verse 16. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

We saw him transfigured. Hell is populated by countless numbers of those who want the Bible to be a fable, who do not want it to be true. I don't mean they just don't believe it, but they don't want it to be right. And they will regret forever that position, that response to what God has made clear. What makes a person born again is that he sees it, responds to it, lives through it, goes forward with it. Some really believe that sin is not harmful and so the Bible is not useful. The testimony of Christ is not necessary.

They don't feel they need a savior, but sin always lessens good all the time. Each one of us know that we would be better at being children of the Lord if we could just get rid of the sin that so easily besets us. But we have the prophetic word made sure or confirmed, the more sure prophetic word. We have it. We've got it. Concrete, spiritual element.

And it is concrete. When I start getting into the fulfillment, we'll see it together. But this spiritual element is missing from every other religion on earth. They may claim that they have it. There's no proof, no evidence.

We have the evidence. This is basic to our faith. Basic to our faith is the knowledge that God can tell the future.

And not only can he tell the future, but that he rules it too. Paul, the apostle, when he started the church in Thessalonica, he and Silas, with those new believers, he gave them prophecy, end time teachings. He taught them about the rapture and things to come. That's why when we get to his first letter to the Thessalonians, he's clarifying things to them that they were confused about. And so prophecy is basic to our faith early on. We are exposed to prophecy from the scripture. The Bible tells the future about God's plan, and his intentions, and the opportunities that come with it.

Jesus said, and he says this twice in John, but I'll take it from John's Gospel chapter 13 verse 19. Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am he. I'm telling you in advance. I'm predicting things. I'm laying out the details for you.

Enough details for you to make a decision. Because all true prophetic teaching comes with the intention of the listeners applying what they have been exposed to, what they have learned. When Paul finished the letter to the Romans, that masterpiece of Christian theology on salvation, he says, now to him who is able to establish you according to my Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began, but now made manifest. In other words, the things about our salvation and our Savior. More details have been given to us since Christ. He goes on and by the prophetic scriptures made known to all nations according to the commandment of the everlasting God, now here it comes, for obedience to the faith. We're given predictive prophecy as well as other prophecy, but just right now we're predictive prophecy. We're given this for our faith to improve our walk with God. Bible prophecy is meant to improve our service so that we can better perform, deliver the message to strengthen the lost, to reach, to strengthen the saved, to reach the lost. How to be better at living the faith with a faith that is alive, with a faith that lives.

We talked about this last session on the subject of heaven. God created man for joy because we struggle as Christians. How come I don't have joy? I have my salvation.

I know the scripture, but why is it so often I am joyless? Well, sin has ruined everything. The intentions of God have been marred. So when you look at a human being, you're not seeing what God intended man to be, you're seeing what's left over from the rebellion, from the fall of man. And God has said, out of that fall of man, I will salvage enough of that man to save their souls, to whomsoever will. But you can't really talk about prophecy without talking about imposters and frauds and charlatans and counterfeits and Christless man. Christless man can not, when it comes to the word of God in prophecy, he may not be a charlatan or a fraud, he just doesn't agree with it, doesn't see it, was not submitted.

There are various flavors out there, various brands of disbelief. Peter in this same letter, this second letter, and as a reminder, first Peter was written to Christians who were suffering persecution from the world. Second Peter, from where our text comes this morning, is written to those Christians who are suffering false teachers, those infiltrating the church, preaching heresy.

We had that from the second chapter. So he says, we have the more sure word of prophecy, but, now verse 1 of 2 Peter chapter 2, but there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness, they will rip you off with deceptive words. For a long time, their judgment has not been idle and their destruction does not slumber. Now you say, I didn't know rip-off was in the scripture.

Now you do. He uses the word, the translators have opted for the word exploit you, take advantage of you, cheat you, rob you, make a sucker out of you. Peter warns them and we know Peter, that straight up kind of a guy, he told it like he saw it and he saw it pretty well. Jesus of course warned, beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

They look harmless, but they're deadly. There are those who speak falsely in the name of Jesus, in the name of Christ. There are those who speak falsely about Christ. They don't claim to be Christians at second group, they do what they say.

The universities, the public schools, they're loaded with this type. They think they know something about God and they don't. That doesn't stop them from spewing out their lies and we try to help them out by saying, hey listen, you're on a collision course with eternity and you won't survive.

You will not do well. You need to repent. That's a word that we Christians must not be afraid to tell those who are unconverted.

You need to change, to repent for a holy and pure God. Others boast prophecy without proof to back up their claims. Probably one of the most notorious in our time are the Mormons.

All the things they say that Joseph Smith saw, they make these outrageous claims and have not a speck of evidence to validate what they have said. We have hundreds fulfilled already just about Christ. Not counting the ones fulfilled about Israel. Man has sought in vain to harness the future. God allows man to harness the past. We can look back, we can remember. We can remember things as though it were yesterday, but not the future.

That belongs to him. What would man do if he could tell the future? We already know. What would happen in Vegas? What happens in Vegas that stays in Vegas, we wish.

It leaks out. Anyway, consulting the stars. What do the stars have to say about my future? No Christian should be involved with horoscopes.

They are forbidden. Man has sought to make deals with the dead, to contact the dead so they can find out about the future. They've tried to establish omens. Well, this means that and this means superstition. Superstition means there's nothing to support it. You're believing it's something that has no basis in truth and in fact is contrary to truth. Otherwise, we'd be given rabbit's foots to all our troops when they go into war.

None of them would be hurt. Man has invested in spiritualism, trying to speak oracles, examining the entrails of animals to tell the future of how the smoke rises off of a fire. Crystal balls, Ouija boards, desperate to get some advantage on the future, but never really thinking about holiness and righteousness. One of the marks that the great tribulation saints will know about antichrist is he's unrighteous and whatever line wonders he's pulling off, he is not clean. That will be the signature. There will be no doubt.

It will be, well, how was I supposed to know? You don't know full well because of his corruption. To know the future is a power that belongs to the God of the Bible and him alone.

He allows lying wonders from time to time. He warns us of these things. Deuteronomy chapter 13 verses 1 through 3, lay it all out. Someone comes along with dreams and they come along with visions and they tell a prophecy and it happens, but they're leading you from me. That's that righteous feature missing.

You know that I'm testing you and that's why they are given, but there's no stability that goes along with their once in a while get it rights. So the power to foretell the future is proof of divinity, consistently to tell the truth. Isaiah the prophet said it this way, God speaking through him, let them bring forth and show us what will happen. Let them show the form of things, what they were, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them or declare to us the things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter that we may know that you are gods.

Yes, do good or do evil that we may be dismayed and see it together. The prophet Isaiah is saying you want to prove that you're a little fake gods of gods? Well let them tell me about the past and let them tell me about the future and let them tell me in righteousness.

Of course they could not. Bible prophecy is the movement of spiritual information from God. And when it's not, when there's spiritual information moving not from God, that is demonic. It is coming from somewhere else.

It is either a lie or it is a test. But Bible prophecy is the movement of true, of genuine spiritual information from God to man. John's gospel chapter 14 verse 29, and now I have told you before it comes that when it does come to pass you may believe. Now we read that from John chapter 13. We see it reinforced by the Holy Spirit, preserved by the Holy Spirit so that we catch it. So that we say God is making an emphasis here.

Let me not miss it. Bible prophecy is not limited to prediction. The context will of course make that clear as one reads and studies the scripture, which as to which facet of prophecy we're dealing with. And before I get into the different types, I want to talk about a Christian man who lived 20, oh 2,000 years ago. He died 165 years there about after the birth of Christ. His name was Justin. And Justin was a philosopher. And he was a student of philosophy.

And you know at that time in all the Greek schools of philosophy, the Roman schools of philosophy, they were all over the place. And he was searching for truth. And he tells in a letter to another man that he was walking along the beach one day and he met with an old Christian man.

And he writes about it. And the Christian man says to him, there existed long before the time, the time of the philosophers that Justin was investigating, certain men more ancient than all those who are esteemed philosophers, both righteous and beloved by God, who spoke by the divine spirit. He says before your philosophers, there were these men of God who God loved and they loved God and they spoke by the spirit.

He continues. And foretold events which would take place and which are now taking place. They're called prophets. These alone both saw and announced the truth to men, neither reverencing nor fearing any man, not influenced by a desire for glory, but speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard being filled with the Holy Spirit. He's talking about the authors or the human authors or writers, the scribes that is, because God is the author of scripture. But the writers were men, the prophets, the apostles. And he continues, he says, speaking those things alone which they saw and which they heard being filled with the Holy Spirit, their writings are still extant. And he who has read them is very much helped in his knowledge of the beginning and the end of things.

He goes on to say, and those events which have happened and those which are happening compel you to agree to the utterances made by them. So he says to Justin, there's men that wrote before your philosophers. They were men of God, men of character. They were righteous men. They really didn't care what people thought. They cared what God thought because they knew that God's thoughts have the care of people within it.

And these men, these men have better things to say. And the proof of it is that they come true. We have the evidences. Justin took the old man's advice and he turned to the prophets, to the Old Testament prophets concerning their prophecies of Jesus Christ, their predictions. And he became a courageous defender of the faith, so much so. Rome, ramping up their persecution against Christians, called him to court, he and his students, and said you need to worship our gods. You need to put just a pinch of incense or whatever else we decide on our altar and stop this Christ preaching or we will beat you and kill you.

Justin said have at it. So they scourged him and his students and beheaded him and his students and he now is known as Justin Martyr. My point is the prophecies, the predictive element of our faith, established a faith in this Christian, so strong that death couldn't chase it away.

It's suffering. Men don't die, men in Christ, women in Christ, for fables, for the truth that Jesus promised. They spoke the truth as witnesses, not as reasoners.

You catch that? The philosophers, they reason, they guess, they come up with ideas, but the prophets, they didn't speak as men who just reasoned through things, they spoke as men who saw, who were there. That's what Peter said. In fact, right before this passage that we read this morning, Peter said the Lord promised to me how I would leave this life, my exodus. That was prophecy.

And Peter was saying it hasn't happened yet, but it's going to happen. And until it happens, I will stir you up. That's that passage of scripture we have assigned to our series on the believers' basics.

I will continue to stir you up though you know these things. Powerful Christianity found in the life of Simon Peter. So not only can God tell the future, but he controls it as I said.

And this he is distinct from all others. Biblical prophecy includes messages delivered to man from God, warnings to man from God, judgments to man from God, blessings, future events, encouragements. When you talk about biblical prophecy, we're not limiting it to just predictive, different types. Sometimes it is immediate in its judgments and messages as it was with Moses and Pharaoh. When Moses said, all right, watch this, it happened. The Nile turned to blood, the plagues that hit Egypt, all the things that Moses warned him of prophetically came to pass. Sometimes it is delayed. The rapture of the church.

We know it's going to happen because of the track record that it belongs to Peter with Sapphira and Ananias. It was instant. You lied to the Holy Spirit. You came to church. You promised in front of everyone what you were going to do. Everybody said, wow, that's impressive. And then you lied.

And Ananias dropped dead. Not long after his wife comes in and Peter says the same men that carted off your husband dead are going to take you. We're all glad that the church doesn't work that way anymore. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit Cross-Reference Radio dot com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit cross reference radio dot com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's cross reference radio dot com. That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-10 08:15:19 / 2022-11-10 08:24:42 / 9

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