A Prophet's Vindication.
A Prophet's Vindication.
In Exodus 3:13-14, we see who declared Moses to be a prophet when he went down to the children of Israel:
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Who vindicated Moses? Did they take a vote and agree that he was a prophet? Did Pharaoh stand up and declare that he was a prophet sent from God? No, Moses was vindicated by what God had told him and that was all that Moses had to go on. But remember the children of Israel had been promised a deliverer. So it was that after Moses had led them out of Egypt, and across the Red Sea, had asked God to feed them quail and manna, had received the Ten Commandments miraculously carved in stone, and had given them, time and again, the Word of the Lord, there were still many who did not believe him to be God’s man. How could such a thing be ? Simply because they wanted somebody to vindicate him. They asked how they were to know that the Word of God came to Moses. There should have been no doubt after all they had seen, but yet they did doubt. They had faith in God and His keeping His Word, yet they couldn’t believe Moses was God’s prophet in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was sent by God to them. They were simply blind.
Remember, WHO vindicated John the Baptist ? Let us go through this completely again so that there will be no doubt.
When the people went to enquire of John “who he was”, as told in John 1:19, they were aware of the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6a. They knew also, no doubt, of the word that had come to John’s father before John was born, how he would go forth in the “spirit of Elias” and turn the hearts of the “fathers to the children”. Now there can be only two reasons for John’s negative answer to the question of the people as to whether he was Elias. Either they were asking him if he was the Elias of a different verse of Scripture than applied to him, or he didn’t know the word. But, I can prove that John did know the Word, because when they went on to ask him, “Are you that prophet ?” John knew that they referred to the prophet promised by Moses in Deuteronomy 18. His denial then was of being that prophet that Moses said would be one like unto himself. Finally John placed himself, in John 1:22-23:
It is written ...
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ...
John knew the Word well enough to know that Isaiah said in Isaiah 40:3 that one would come. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He also knew that Malachi 3:1 said, “Prepare the way before Me,” as the prophet Isaiah had also said. Yet John denied being Elijah. He knew that he was to turn the hearts of the “fathers to the children” because his father, Zacharias, had received that prophecy. John also knew that he was in the spirit of Elijah, so is it possible that they were asking him whether he was the Elijah of Malachi 4 who was to turn the heart of the “children to the father” before the “great and dreadful” day of the Lord ? Naturally, he answered them that he was not “that Elijah”. But, who vindicated John? The people were very interested in who he was, but who was it that stood up and told them? He told them himself who he was, as recorded in John 1:23:
Let’s read it again ...
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Who vindicated Christ ? Luke 9:18-20 states ...
18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
In another account, Jesus replied: “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my Father which is in Heaven, and upon this rock (of revelation) I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This gives us our first clue to the vindication of a prophet. It comes by revelation. And it comes by that prophet vindicating himself. The Word of God vindicates itself to be the Word of God. Moses declared himself to be a prophet of God. John the Baptist said that he was the one of whom Isaiah spoke, and Jesus taught His disciples that He was the Christ.
But in John 10:36-38, Jesus says this ...
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Jesus told them that if you can’t believe what I tell you, then Believe what you see me Do. Now there is no other vindication of a prophet of God: FIRST, he will tell you who he is. SECONDLY, he will do the works that he is sent to do. That is how you can tell a prophet sent from God.
Now then, if there be a prophet before the coming of the “great and dreadful” day of the Lord, one in the spirit of Elijah. there are certain works that he will be expected to do. His works will be done as one in the spirit of Elijah. He will “turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers” He will fulfill Matthew 17:11 where Jesus says he will “restore all things” In some translations, this passage reads “He shall correct those things that have gone off into error.”
The book of Revelation speaks of this last age, the Laodicean Age, as having a messenger who will tell them they are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked,” and don’t know it. In Revelation 10:7, this messenger is referred to as the Seventh Angel and says that, “when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to His servants the Prophets.”
Thus there is a definite work that the Prophet of Malachi 4 is to do. He will not be vindicated by a denomination. He will not be agreed with by the majority, but he will know who he is. There will be those who will see him and will not know him, but there will also be those with the same spirit as those who accepted Jesus by His works, saying in John 7:31. “When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done ?”
But when this prophet of Malachi 4 comes with the spirit of Elijah to restore all things and finish the Mystery of God, the world will not be worthy of him, any more than they were worthy of the prophets of old. The majority of the people will be prone to have so much religion and to assert so many rights, that they will be blind to the visitation.
This man will come, doing only good. He will come fulfilling Scripture, bringing a message to the Elect, the Bride of Christ, but he will be hated by the religious leaders. They will manifest the same spirit as those who stood at the foot of the cross and said, “He saved others but himself he cannot save.” Every move that this prophet makes will be to serve humanity, yet he will be criticised, misunderstood, and rejected because of the Doctrine he brings. Ordained a prophet from the womb, as all the prophets were, his coming will forerun the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ - and he will come in the spirit of Elijah.
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