The Prophetic Gift

The Prophetic Gift

Scripture: Numbers 12:6, Deuteronomy 34:10, Matthew 11:11
Date: 01/10/2009  Lesson: 2
The books of Moses reveal much about the nature of the gift of prophecy. This gift was still active in the days of Christ.
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Good morning, Happy Sabbath, and welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'm glad you're joining us for another "central study hour." I hope you've had a wonderful week and you're ready to sing with us this morning, 'cause we're definitely ready here. We've been warming up our voices and we are ready to sing our first request, "it came upon the midnight clear." This is number 130 in your hymnals. It's a request from Michael and raulie in California, Mark in guantanamo bay, cuba, unice in New York, geo and lana in the Philippines, and arnel also in the Philippines, jocelyn in singapore, Christa in Virginia, and Matthew in Washington. So, those of you that are joining us this morning on our website, watching live or listening on the radio or watching on the various television networks, join us now as we sing 130, verses 1, 2, and 3.

[Music] Thank you so much for that request. And if there are anymore song requests out there, and I know there are, go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link and you'll see right there where you can send in your song requests. And we will do our best to sing that on an upcoming Sabbath for you. Our next song this morning, "angels from the realms of glory" is on 119, 119. And this is from lani in ArKansas, ralph and bertie in the bahamas, zenie in Canada, jim, diane, jamie and bethy in florida, bahonga in the Philippines, abel in puerto rico, hickman in saint vincent and grenadines, steve in trinidad and tobago, raulie in California, lindsey in the virgin islands, and bonnie in Wisconsin; verses 1, 2, and 4.

[Music] Father in Heaven, this morning we do want to come and worship you. You're not a newborn king anymore, but you are a king and you're coming to take us home to heaven one day very soon. We thank you so much for that. I pray that you'll be with us this morning as we open up Your Word and we study together, that you'll be with our speaker, be with those that aren't with us today that are joining us from all over the world, that you'll be with each one and give them a special blessing as we all worship together. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor white, he is our administrative pastor here at central church. Thank you, debbie. And musicians, we enjoy our music week by week, and welcome to each and every one of you. We're glad that you are here and we welcome those of you who are joining us by other means, radio, television, internet. Our secretary, melissa, and myself are quite involved with the cyberspace ministry these days and we enjoy each one of your comments, your e-mails.

We are glad you join us week by week. And we just are excited to have such a world-wide audience; right? We're glad that you're here this morning in Sacramento. We have a special gift, free offer, number 711, it's entitled "a light for the last days." And all you have to do is go to www.amazingfacts.org or 1-866-788-3966. Last week, pastor Batchelor mentioned a new website. And I'm not sure whether he left the initial out or whether it was misheard but people went and didn't find the exact website he was looking for.

When you go--he's talking about the Ellen g. White website. You have to put the g in there. Ellengwhitetruth.com; Ellengwhitetruth.com. Go and look at that, it's a very exciting website and I know that you will receive a blessing from that.

We have a wonderful study this quarter, I think, studying prophecy. The title for today's lesson is "the prophetic gift." And actually, it's the title for the entire lesson. If you notice the comparison. So, the prophetic gift and our memory verse is taken from Numbers, the 12th chapter and verse 6. And I would invite you to read along with me from your quarterly, if you would at this time.

"Then he said, 'hear now my words, if there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision and I speak to him in a dream.'" The true gift of prophecy is also called a sure word. And that's a good sounding sound to it, doesn't it? The sure word. And we can be very happy that there is such a gift, such a sure word in a very unsure world. And there are many things that are quite the contrary. Lots of messages being reported that are not the sure word.

Now, I wanna give you four very, very quick examples of something like that. You've heard some of these before. Number one, king george the second said in 1773, "that the American colonists had little stomach for revolution." Number two, then there is the one we've all heard about where an official of the white star line, speaking of the firm's newly built flag ship "the titanic," launched in 1912, declared that the ship was, "unsinkable." Three, in 1939, "the New York times" said, "the problem of t.v. Was that people had to glue their eyes to a screen and the average American wouldn't have time for it." Whoa. Number four, an english astronomy professor said in the early 19th century, "that air travel at a high speed would be impossible because passengers would is suffocate.

" Well, those are just a slight example of many, many, many predictions and sayings and quotations of something that hasn't turned out to be true. Now, when you think about the prophetic gift, you are hard-pressed to find anything that's not true. In fact, the only thing that even comes close is I think about the whole entire Bible is the one message that came to Jonah as he was told to go to nineveh, it would be destroyed. But there was one little clarification, one little word, "if they don't repent." So, nineveh ended up not being destroyed because, lo and behold, they all repented. So, that one little word made the prophecy the sure word, didn't it? It was true.

Don't you just love it. Well, you do if you're having a close relationship with Christ. But there's a lot of people that are scared about prophecy. In fact, I can't--i wouldn't know how many people through the years have told me the book of Revelation scares them. Because there's so many prophecies in there that are scary to the non-believer, and I can see why they would be.

But as you read the very first chapter, what does it tell us? It is a Revelation of who? Of Jesus Christ. That should not be scary, should it? That should be something to look forward to and get in to. Well, first of all, let's establish a very important point. Are predictions and instructions from God important? On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most important, one being the least important, are predictions and instructions from God through his messengers, are they important? Ten or one? We all agree, number ten, absolutely. So, if they are that important, who--if you are God, who do you choose to convey those messages? Don't you look around for somebody that you are going to be able to depend on? And one of the greatest tests for Bible prophets, of course, is found in Isaiah 8:20, says, "to the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to these words, there is no light in them.

" So, you would want to find somebody that, first of all, believes that, believes the law and the testimony of His Word already. That he would not only believe it, but then hopefully live by it. Right? Have a lifestyle that would correspond. There's a word that's only used once in the Bible, it's called the word novice. Do you think God would use a novice? Well, the dictionary says, "a novice is a person on probation in a religious group or order before taking vows; or a person new to a particular occupation or activity, an apprentice.

" Somebody has Timothy 3:5-6, did I give that one out this morning? Somebody has that, 1 Timothy, right over here. "For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? Not a novice lest being lifted up with pride he'd fall into the condemnation of the devil." Okay, thank you, roy. The advice from God through Paul was not to choose a person who was new, an apprentice, a novice, for this position of elder or bishop. And if that is so of that position, probably even more so for the office of prophecy--of a prophet, wouldn't you say? Now, as you think back to some of the prophets in the Bible, you find some of them kind of drag their feet when they receive the call. Oh, no, Lord, I don't know if I can do this, I don't even speak good.

You know, all the excuses. But once they made the decision to allow God to use them, it seems like they were totally committed people, doesn't it? You really find some tremendous individuals in the Word of God that were called prophets. I was reading about a deeply religious man who was going to go off to college and it was his desire to be a writer. And so, as he was getting ready to go to college, his mother said, "now, son, I know you want to be a writer, but I want you to think about brain surgery. You will save a lotta people's life and you'll make a lotta money.

" And he says, "no, mama, I wanna be a writer." Well, he goes off to college, but "no" was not a word that mother liked. And so every time he came home on a break during the next years in college, she would always bring up the same conversation. "You should think about brain surgery, because you can save a lotta people's lives and you can make a lotta money." Well, about the fourth year he finally had had his fill of this and she began the same mantra over again, he cut her off in exasperation. And with great passion he told his mother, "mama, I don't wanna keep people from dying, I want to show them how to live." And he felt he could do that by writing. Well, prophets, they did both, didn't they? They wanted to show people how to live, but they also wanted to show them how to escape that second death.

By pointing people to the Word of God. And so the prophets role is indeed a huge role. The prophet was to show people how to live and also how to keep them from eternal death. But as the lesson points out in the introduction, it doesn't mean that a prophet was sinless. Only one prophet fell into that category, and of course, that was Jesus.

And even Daniel, you read everything you can find in the Bible about Daniel and you don't come across any sins that he committed. But how did he pray? When he prayed a prayer of repentance for the children of Israel, he didn't say, "they," he said, "we." And so he knew that he was a sinful human being like everybody else. And so prophets as good as they were, were still human beings. Distinction, individuals called to receive the prophetic gift were not perfect, but the messages they received from God, for God's people are perfect. Would you agree with that? Amen.

That's the distinction we need to keep in mind. So, if you were living where there was a real prophet living in your midst and let's say that, that person had a personality--now, we're talking about prophets as being human beings. Now, let's say you were living when there was a real prophet around and he happened to have a personality that just kinda, was the kind of personality you don't like. Maybe it's too much like yourself, or exactly too opposite of yourself. That's what it is when we have a certain trouble with certain personalities.

Well, you have a significant problem, because God is trying to communicate his will through that individual. Now, let's bring it down onto a personal level. Pastors are not prophets, for sure, but they do preach the word. And when you hear certain pastors speak, there's some that you enjoy hearing better than others, that's human; right? Some, maybe, you don't really care for to hear at all because of the way that they come across. And there may be some listening this morning that thinks my method of teaching is just dreadful.

I don't know how that could ever be, but that could happen. So, you have a real problem. Maybe God has something special in the message for you this morning for the sermon and maybe you feel that way about pastor mike. Some of you, I don't see how that could be either, but perhaps somebody does. And you have a problem, because God may have something specifically for you in that message.

So, I believe God would behoove us all to scrutinize the message, not the messengers. Right? I think bringing it down on the personal level helps us that way, to realize that prophets were human beings. Now, let's go into our lesson. Somebody has Genesis 20:7, right over here. "Now therefore restore the man his wife, for he is a prophet and he shall pray for thee and thou shalt live.

And if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou and all that are thine." Thank you very much. And it's interesting that most of us probably when we hear the name Abraham don't immediately first of all think of him as a prophet, we think of him as a patriarch, a renowned individual of the Bible, but he doesn't have a book of the Bible named after him, he doesn't leave any predictions for us to read, but he did communicate with God in very special ways, didn't he? Special ways more so than the average person. God did speak to him directly at times. And God told him to go places and do some things that he didn't tell hardly anybody else, especially when it came to his son, in one particular instant. So, but as you think about Abraham, he certainly brings out the humanity of a prophet, doesn't he? Because as marvelous as a man of faith as he was, even being mentioned in the faith chapter of Hebrews 11, tremendous man of faith.

But he sinned, didn't he? He sinned by claiming and lying about his wife not being his wife and then just drug his feet on believing God. That God said over, more than once, that he was going to give him a son and he took another woman to have his own son from another woman. So, he certainly brings out the humanity of the prophet. But yet, God did use this man to communicate his will, didn't he? Now, does this mean that God might use you to be a prophet? Well, statistically, that's probably not likely. But it's possible, right? It's possible.

Somebody has acts 2:17, right here. "'And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.'" Thank you very much. Now, I believe this is something we have to be a little careful of. I personally don't think that I would like to be used by God as a prophet, not as a major prophet.

And the reason I say that is, you have a hard time getting people to believe that you are really a true prophet in this world, today. Why? Because there are so many false prophets in our world today, aren't there? And as I understand it, even our church headquarters gets calls, various times through the year, from people who claim to have been given the gift of prophesy. Now, as they follow it through, it becomes very evident, almost all the time, very quickly that indeed they are not receiving the true gift of prophesy. So, I don't think that I would like to be a prophet, because of that very reason. Now, I have a hunch and I can't prove it, but I will share it with you this morning.

When we read this text like we just read, God giving this gift to young men and young women, older, so forth, pouring out his spirit. I have a hunch that God's gonna do that in the final days. When the world is in turmoil and God's people may have to be fleeing for their lives and God is going to speak through individuals here and there to give his people guidance and direction. I believe God will use that gift of prophecy during those days, because of how the conditions of the world will be. And we will need his direct intervention, his direct guidance as to know how to live and where to go.

But I have a hunch that God's not gonna bring on the scene any major prophet before he comes again. And the reason I say that is, my hunch is, I could be wrong, we have so much given to us already that we're not living up to, if all we would do is study what we have, we'd have our hands full, wouldn't we? So, that's my hunch, I don't know, you can try to prove me wrong and that's quite all right. Because I will see what the Lord has in store. And we'll see what happens. What all this says to me, though, when we are considering a man like Abraham and how God did use this ordinary man to be a prophet.

It shows me that we need to be so close to God that when messages come to us, we will be able to know whether it's true or false. Don't you think so? Abraham had to be so close to God that when he got the message to take his son and sacrifice him, he had to know that was God's voice, didn't he? And we, likewise, will have to know. When we are contemplating prophets and their humanity, we realize that prophets are not God, right? They are used by God. And so if you believe a prophet, you are what? You are believing God. And the other side of the coin is very obvious, isn't it? If you don't believe a prophet, what? You're disbelieving God.

So, we must believe what the prophets say, because God gave them the messages. Where did all inspiration of the world come from? Through the Holy Spirit, from God, to man. So, have prophets been scorned? Have they been ridiculed? Have they been put to death? Yes, they have. They have been persecuted and killed. We must not forget that if someone scorns a prophet, what they're actually doing is scorning God.

Right? And that brings me to a question: when it comes to messages that God has given to his messengers, can we as his people pick and choose which ones we want to believe? And I imagine and I get a tremendous response, very quick in your minds, no, we can't pick and choose. As God's people we are to believe them all. But I would put forth the idea that while we might answer, no. We often live by the answer of, yes. Now, I say that because, we're going to be turning to-- on Monday, in just a little bit, to a man called Moses and he was a prophet.

Now, Moses received some special instructions from God that God wrote down with his own fingers. And what were they? The Ten Commandments. Now, let me ask you, do you believe in the Ten Commandments? Yes. Do you live by the Ten Commandments? Yes. Do you obey the Ten Commandments at all times? Ah, oh, not perfectly.

And so, if we aren't living up to all the Ten Commandments, aren't you in essence saying that sometimes you pick and choose what messages you are wanting to go by? Sometimes we have to say that. Now, that's going around the barn a little bit to come to that response. But sometimes we're very direct and I want to show you couple of examples of that. Here's one way people do it. And I've heard this many times.

They say, "well, that was for their time, it's different now." And I would agree that situations do bring some changes, how we relate to the principle of what God has spoken to man. But the important thing to remember is the principle never changes, right? So, that's what we must always keep in mind. In playing that game, you must be very sure you don't go from principles to circumstances and some circumstances to principles. Now, another area I see is very important area too. And follow me very carefully on this one.

People say, and I've heard Pastor Doug Batchelor say, and I agree with him 100%. And that is, not everything a prophet says, maybe while sitting at the breakfast table, is the inspired word from God. If a prophet is sitting at the breakfast table and talking about, oh, the plans of what they're gonna buy at the store that day or what the neighbor is doing with their livestock. I don't think we need to take that as the inspired word; right? I think that's very logical. But here's where many will take this truth a step too far in the wrong direction, I believe.

If a messenger of the Lord is speaking on spiritual things, issues that that messenger probably has sometime in the past has received light from God. Either through his or her own reading or visions and dreams or whatever, how God communicated with them. That if they're speaking on spiritual things, I would certainly rather take what they say than what somebody else says, wouldn't you? It's--if they are sharing an insight on spiritual matters, it's most likely because something that God has shared with him sometime in the past. And I think the key there is the subject matter, spiritual things. If a mechanic is trying to figure out what's wrong with a car and all of a sudden he has a thought come into his mind, not because he just pulled out a book and started reading, but a thought comes into his mind because of a past experience he has had with cars and it happens to be the right thing, it's the problem of the car and he knows how to fix it exactly and he does it.

Are you concerned that he didn't read that just out of a book right now? No, you're happy that he knew from past experiences what the issue was. Just like these men and women who are used by God. They were immersed in spiritual matters, that when the time came for something to be said that needed to be said in spiritual matters, it was coming from God. Don't you believe? So, I think that's an important situation to remember. Let go on to Monday and Moses.

And somebody has Deuteronomy 34:10. "And there arose not a prophet, since in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord knew face-to-face." Thank you very much. Now, what were some of the things that prepared Moses for this sacred office? Wouldn't we have to go clear back to when he was a baby in the basket down the river there? And then during those early years of training, his mother instilled in him the truths so strongly that he knew what the truth was when he was shipped off to be trained in the royal regime there of the Egyptians, the royal courts. Now, certainly the training he received while in Egypt helped for this great role he was to play. But it was not enough, because he one time got so mad that he rose up and killed an Egyptian.

Right? That was not God's way that he wanted him to lead. And so what did he do? He took him off and he gave him his own training so he could become the man God wanted him to be. And what was that? Spending 40 years with sheep. That was God's training. From about the age of 40 to 80, Moses spent most of his life with sheep.

Then God said, "you are ready now." And by that time, Moses began to drag his feet. "No, I don't--i can't speak very good, you know." But once he committed, he was committed. God could use him then. Few men or women reach real greatness without some years of some kind of humble preparation. Now, it may be different, it may not be tending sheep.

But if God takes an individual at the zenith of their zeal, and puts them in some important position or office, most likely, if not all, of them will fail. And it goes back to this concept of novice, they're not ready for that type of responsibility. Now, in your estimation what was it that made Moses the man that he was? The lesson speaks to it and I agree, I believe it, it was his sense of compassion for his people. He had such a willingness to intercede for his people. The million plus people that he was the leader of-- what, 99% of them were not his flesh and blood? But he still was ready to pray to God, "blot my name out of the book of life, if you will just save my people.

" That is what made Moses the great man, I believe, that he was. Well, when Moses was on the mount receiving messages from God, the most important messages for mankind of all time, what were the people doing down in the valley? They were worshipping a golden idol and carrying on like heathens. Now, what was it that brought the people back to their senses? Bible--the lesson talks about how his faith did shine so much that it hurt them, it was painful to look upon. That brought them back to the fact that he was their leader and that he was the man to be in charge. Now, it impressed him that God restored his roll of leadership and mediator for them.

But one thing more I think happened and--to the people. And let put it this way, let's just say by some miracle, that I had a tremendous week with God. The best week I've ever had with God and I stand here today before you. And let's just say that my face was shining as brightly as Moses' was, so much so, that it would be painful for you to look at. Now, don't go there richard.

Some people thinking it's painful to look at without the brightness, I know. But let's just say you were looking at my face and it was so brightful, so bright, it was painful to look at. How would you feel? Well, I know how I'd feel, if I was sittin' in the congregation where the speaker was that bright, I would be awe struck, I would be feel like beating my breasts saying, "woe is me, I am unclean, I am undone." That's the kind of impression I believe it left on God's people back then. And there are people that have impressed you, I'm sure. Maybe their faces weren't shining, but you just felt a sense of awe around them.

Not all the time, of course, but at times there was a presence of God attending an individual that just impressed you. I've had that experience with individuals, not all the time, but occasionally. Wouldn't that we nice if somebody said that about you? Wouldn't that be extremely wonderful? Well, in the quarterly for Tuesday it asks the questions I thought was interesting: which prophet can you relate to the most? That was intriguing to me and it popped another question into my mind. That if there was a prophet living today, if there was a major prophet living today what would you talk to him or her about? What question would you ask that person? Well, you might say, "tell us when the end is coming." And you wouldn't get any farther with that question than asking me. Because I could tell you what the Bible says, "no man knows the day or hour.

" So, you have to come up with a better question than that. Well, you could ask Moses, "well, how did you get this kind of commitment to all these people?" That would have been a good question to ask him. But what about a question for a prophet today? What would you ask? Do you know what came to my mind? I don't know what I'd ask. Because just about anything I can think of, you can go someplace to find the answer already written. Seek and you shall find, God has given us just about everything we need for life already, right? He has given us His Words so spelled out so wonderfully that, I don't know, it just doesn't seem like we need to have a live prophet in our midst.

We have the Word of God so readily available at all times. As we consider Tuesday's lessons a little more entitled, "prophets in Israel," we can think of many that were used by God. Some were found, their books were found and recorded in our Bible, canonized, others were not. And there's a point made on Tuesday's lesson, it's a small point, but carrying over to Wednesday, it is an important one and it brings out that the backgrounds of various prophets. Some were priest, some came from royal blood, one was a prime minister, one was a judge and one was a farmer and one was a shepherd.

Now, tuck that in your mind, in just a little bit we'll go to the next days. But it's nice to realize that God used people from various backgrounds for this important role. The background didn't make a difference, God makes the difference, right? He's taken people of high estate and brought them down to the level where he can use 'em. He's taken people of low estate and brought 'em up to the level he can use 'em. So, it brings all men on a level playing field.

Is that true or is that just good rhetoric? I think it's true, don't you? God does that. And with God he can bring something great out of all of it. As I mentioned last week in the sermon, God used two cows to bring his presence and His Word back to his people. And really wasn't that the role of the prophet to bring God's presence and His Word to his people. Isn't that our role? To bring God's presence and His Word, the commandments, to the people of the world? Indeed it is.

The admonition that we read earlier to the law unto the testimony, "if they speak not according to this, there is no light in them; no light whatsoever." So, if people are trying to steer you away from the law, I would say be very wary. Now, if someone is trying to enlighten you, not to be a legalistic person with the law, thinking that the law is gonna save you. Then listen up, I mean, that's an important lesson. But if you really have God, I believe you really have the law and the right light. Not in the legalistic way.

So, yes, that was the work of a prophet, time and time again. As the lesson brings out, some of the books and writings made it into our Bible, some did not. Let's move on to Wednesday's and prophetesses in Israel. I think I gave out two texts, one is Exodus 15:20-21. "And miriam the prophetess, the sister of aaron took a timbrel in her hand and all the women went out after her with the timbrels and with dances.

And miriam answered them, 'sing ye to the Lord for he hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.'" Okay, thank you, there's mentioned miriam. Now, Judges, right back there, adam. Judges 4:4-5. Judges 4:4-5, "now deborah a prophetess, the wife of lappidoth was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm tree of deborah between ramah and bethel in the hill country of ephraim.

And The Sons of Israel came up to her for judgment." Okay, thank you, another lady from the old testament. And 2 Kings 22, who has that one? Right over here, adam, 22:14-20. "So, hilkiah the priest, ahikam, achbor, shaphan and asaiah went to huldah the prophetess, the wife of shallum, The Son of tikvah, The Son of harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She dwelled in Jerusalem in the second quarter and they spoke with her. Then she said to them, 'thus says the Lord, God of Israel, tell the man who sent you to me.

Thus says the Lord, behold I will bring calamity on this place and on it's inhabitants. All the words of the book which the King of judah has read, because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other Gods that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore my wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched. But as for the King of judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord in this manner, ye shall speak to him. Thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse.

And you tore your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. Surely, therefore I will gather you to your fathers and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace and your eye shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.' So they brought back word to the King." Okay, thank you, richard. So we have three different women mentioned in the old testament, messages vary. And yet ladies coming from different backgrounds, but let us remember something we mentioned from Tuesday's lessons. As you consider all the backgrounds of people who were called to this office, to be a prophet or prophetess, what one area does God never call a woman from? She would never be called from the office of a priest, because women didn't--never served as a priest.

So, a woman prophetess was never, before she became a prophet, a priest. And evidently women in the old testament didn't mind that, because I don't remember reading anywhere that women rose up and said, "oh, I wanna be a priest." You don't find that anywhere. You find them accepting it because God used them very magnificently in other ways even as a prophetess. And there was no need for anyone to be concerned or upset about this arrangement, for God did use women in very special way. Just as I will never be called to deliver a baby or carry a baby, a woman was never called to be a priest.

And I'm very glad about the first part of that sentence. Now, you've seen the news recently about this individual, this lady, that took all the hormones, shots, and some operations and then they say, "here is a man who deliver--the first man to deliver a baby." Well, I must say that this individual looks more like a man now days than a woman, but they didn't remove all the body parts that still allow her to have babies. And so she became pregnant and delivered a baby. And no matter how many times it reported on the news that the first man gave birth to a baby, that isn't true, she's still a woman. And I can't think of a better analogy than this at how odd it would have been for women to rise up and demand to be put into the priestly ministry.

It just wasn't God's plan. And the closer we stick to God's plan, the better off we'll be. Now, I certainly--as I said, I rejoice that his plan was for men not to have babies, I don't want to alter that in any way. But there's another reason I believe that women didn't complain. And that was, Kings were not even chosen to be priests, in fact, they were commanded not to perform priestly duties.

Remember that experience when Saul was waiting for Samuel to come and Samuel didn't come, didn't come for 7 days. And Saul gets impatient in Samuel 13, he says, "so Saul said, 'bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.' And he offered burnt offering." Well, low and behold, right after that Samuel shows up and he's not pleased. He already knows what happened, he's been given the insight from God. And he tells him, "for now, the Lord would have established your kingdom forever over Israel. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord, your God.

" And it goes on to tell him how he's going to raise up another man, a man after his own heart to take his position. So, it wasn't in God's plan for even Kings to become priests. I don't care how hard I might work at it, I don't care how long I would work at it, I will never become a king. It's just not in the cards, it's not the way God designed. And so, well, that's enough on that.

You didn't have people questioning that kind of thing, but of course people questioned everything in our world today, don't they? We turn to look at one of these prophetesses, probably the one that I'm most familiar with and you are too. And that was miriam. We know miriam, first of all, as a little girl as she was watching over this little basket of her little brother, Moses, who was a type of Christ. So, she was watching over a type of Christ, type of Christ, Christ is the word. So, after she became a prophetess, her role was still the same, she was watching over the word, wasn't she? Making sure the word was true.

And kept it as true as could be. So, her role never changed in essence. And even though she was an older sister to Moses, she didn't try to mother him in this roll. Although one time she and her brother aaron did something that was--seemed to be totally out of character for her. They became very jealous of Moses.

Somebody has Numbers 12:5-10. "Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle and called aaron and miriam, they both went forward. Then he said, hear now my words, 'if there's a prophet among you, I the Lord, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses, he is faithful in all my house, I speak with him face-to-face, even plainly and not in dark sayings. And he sees the form of the Lord.

Why then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?' So, the anger of the Lord was aroused against them and he departed. And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then aaron turned toward miriam and there she was, a leper." Okay, thank you very much. So, when prophets or prophetesses disobeyed, they were disciplined. And it didn't just happen to a prophetess, it happened to her brother, right? He struck--Moses struck the rock and what was his discipline? He was not allowed to go into the promised land.

So, prophets, prophetesses sin and are disciplined by God. Human beings, just much like ourselves. And with miriam, you also have the fact that it was a brother, sister combination. In fact, two brothers and one sister as prophets. And you have that kind of thing also in acts 21, it mentions an evangelist, I think, by the name of Phillip, who had four virgin daughters, all of who had the gift of prophecy.

So, very interesting. Now, as we move on in our lesson study, goes into the new testament prophets. And the first thing I think about when I think about new testament prophets, is the very last book. Is that not what you think of? John the revelator, all these wonderful prophesies in the book of Revelation. Well, let me ask you as the lesson asks, are all of the--were all of the apostles, prophets? And the answer, of course, is no.

Paul and John were, but other than that those are the only two apostles that were. Now, who was the greatest new testament prophet? We don't have to--we don't have to guess at that because Jesus tells us himself, John the baptist was the greatest prophet. And why was his mission so great? Why was he the greatest? It was because his mission was so great. And that was, he was preparing the way for the Messiah to actually come in the flesh, so he had the greatest of all roles of all prophets. Prepare the actual coming of the Messiah.

Now it says, the lesson, at the bottom of Thursday at the same time, John the baptist was only at the door of the Kingdom of grace, looking in while the least follower of Jesus can look back and rejoice in the fulfillment of all the messianic prophesies through Christ. As we consider where we are in the stream of time in light of this thought, we should feel like the most privileged people in all the world. We have been so blessed with so much light that the world should be being filled up with a loud proclamation of the truth. Whereas you kinda sense that the Word of God is still being whispered in comparison to what it should be. It reminds me of something I read about a poet, his name was w.

h. Auden. He was going to read some of his great poetry at princeton university and so they rented a big hall there and he came in and everybody was so excited to hear the great one read some of his poetry. So, as he began--by this time in his life, he was an old man. And he was speaking so softly that the microphone wasn't even able to pick it up very good.

And so people were straining their ears, catching just bits and saying--whispering to one another, "what did he say?" And somebody would whisper back, "well, i--he said this," from fragments of what they heard and what they had read before. And before long, everybody in the place was whispering back and forth so much that it was completely, totally drowning out the one who was speaking. And I kinda picture that the way it is in our world today. The true message of God is kinda being whispered and there are so many miscomprehensions, there are so--misunderstood and falsely repeated until we have such a convoluted world of messages, conflicting one with another, the whispers of half truths and partly-understood messages have the world in such a confused state that there are some people out there that do not believe that there is a sure word of truth. Do you know that? There are some people that have just written off the fact that there is any truth ever to go by.

I don't believe any of you religious people, you're all so mixed up, you're all so confused. One of you whisper this, one of you yells this, they don't believe it. So, I believe the challenge that comes to us who know that there is truth, the challenge to us is to so live it that it impresses people, that it becomes so real something they can see lived out in front of them. And then they will believe. That's our challenge today, I think.

And in light of the prophetic gift, let's live the gift, right? Well, I'm--brings us to the gift, the free offer, a reminder that it's number 711, all you have to do is go to www.amazingfacts.org or go to dial 1-866-788-3966. And remember the website I mentioned earlier, it's www.Ellengwhite.com, okay. I think you'll enjoy going there and reading and enjoying that website. So, the prophetic gift, are you happy that we have a sure word of prophecy to live by today? Amen. And may it guide us as we face some troublous times.

Are we facing troublous times? Yes, we are indeed. But with this sure word, we will see the path that the Lord has given to us to walk ye in it. The straight and narrow way is all laid out before us, we don't have to get lost, it's the best road map that's ever been in--that's ever come into existence, the Word of God. So, thank you everyone who has joined us this morning from wherever you are, come back again next Sabbath and we will continue studying this wonderful theme, this wonderful lesson, "the prophetic gift." Hello, friends, one day a man was watching his 80-year-old next door neighbor plant a small peach tree in his yard. He inquired and said, "bill, you don't expect to eat many peaches from that tree, do you?" The old man rested on his shovel and he said, "no, at my age, I realize I won't.

But all my life I've been enjoying peaches from trees that other people planted, I'm just trying to pass on the blessing. Friends, I wanna take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your generous and faithful support of Amazing Facts this year. Every gift, no matter how large or small, is being used to expand God's kingdom. And God has blessed in powerful ways. Those gifts are baring fruit now and will for years to come.

Tens of thousands of people have requested Bible studies and dvds, prayer. We've seen hardened hearts respond to the Gospel of truth. Churches have been revitalized and revived, transformed, and God has miraculously opened doors for us to spread the Gospel to millions more people. What a great God we serve. As I look back over this year, there's so much to be thankful for, countless lives have been changed, transformed by grace.

You have been a vital part of this, through your partnership with Amazing Facts, we've been instruments in God's hands to break satan's strongholds and bring people to the feet of Jesus. Nothing is more important than sharing life with others. So, once again, thank you for supporting Amazing Facts and helping us rescue the lost. Thank you for joining us for this broadcast. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including "Amazing Facts presents," "central study hour," "everlasting Gospel," "Bible answers live," and "wonders in the word." You'll also find a storehouse of biblical resources geared towards answering some of your most difficult questions. And our online Bible school is just a click away. One location, so many possibilities, amazingfacts.org.

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