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A. NATURE OF “ORACLE” 1. Speaking for God is authorized only in the capacity of being an oracle of God, I Pet. 4:11 2. An oracle is a “mouthpiece” speaking in behalf of someone else, Ex. 4:15-16 3. Such a mouthpiece, when speaking for God, is commonly called a prophet, Jer. 1:4-9 4. A prophet, therefore, is a mouthpiece of God speaking for God, Deut. 18:18-19 B. DIVERSITY OF DIVINE COMMUNICATION 1. The word of God may come in a diversity of ways, Heb. 1:1-2, such as: (1) The written word, II Pet. 1:17-21 (2) The Holy Spirit, Acts 8:29; 13:1-2 (3) Divine providence, II Kings 5:3-4 (4) Self-evident facts, Rom. 1:18-20 (5) Signs, Heb. 2:4 (6) Visions, Acts 16:9-10 (7) Dreams, Matt. 1:20; 2:12-13, 22 (8) Angels, Acts 27:21-25 (9) The law of God in the heart of man, Rom. 2:14-15 (10) Examples, I Cor. 10:1-11 (11) Human instruments, I Sam. 9:27; Acts 9:10-17 2. The word of God may be received in a diversity of circumstances, such as: (1) A prayer meeting, Acts 13:2 (2) A dungeon, Lam. 3:53-57 (3) The king’s palace, Dan. 5:5 (4) A prison, Acts 12:5-11 (5) A storm, Matt. 14:22-33 (6) The wilderness, Luke 3:2 3. God is able to speak by a diversity of instruments, such as: (1) The timid, Jer. 1:6-8 (2) The handicapped, Ex. 4:10-11 (3) The educated, Acts 7:22; 22:3 (4) The uneducated, Amos 7:14-15; Acts 4:13 (5) An enemy, John 11:47-51 (6) An ass, II Pet. 2:16; Num. 22:21-30 4. The word of God may be directed to a diversity of objects, such as: (1) A fish, Jonah 2:10 (2) The elements, Luke 8:24 (3) Sickness, Luke 4:39 (4) Ravens, I Kings 17:4 (5) A widow, I Kings 17:9 (6) A discouraged prophet. I Kings 19:1-10 (7) A persecutor, Acts 9:1-6 THE PROPHET OF GOD A. AS A SERVANT 1. He is under authority, John 4:34 2. He is sent by God, John 1:6, Luke 10:1 3. He must not speak presumptuously, Deut. 18:20, 22; Jer. 23:16, 21, 28-29 4. He must not diminish God’s words, Jer. 26:2 5. He must go on “whatsoever errand” (R.V.) he is sent, Jer. 1:7 6. He must declare God’s words regardless of the people’s attitude, Ezek. 2:7 7. He must serve God with a perfect heart, I Chron. 28:9, that is: (1) With a willing mind, I Chron. 28:9 (2) With a heart that seeks God, I Chron. 28:9; II Chron. 26:5; 12:14; 19:3; 20:3 (3) With a trusting heart, II Chron. 16:7-9 (4) With right motives, II Chron. 25:2 (5) With an obedient heart, I Chron. 29:19 (6) With a wholehearted heart, I Kings 11:4, 6 (7) With a heart that brings about a right walk, II Kings 20:3; 21:22; namely: a. A walk before God, Gen. 17:1. This is the walk of sanctification b. A walk after God, II Kings 23:3. This is the walk of obedience c. A walk with God, Gen. 5:22. This is the walk of fellowship 8. As the servant of God he must learn to abound: (1) In work, I Cor. 15:58; Luke 10:2 (2) In suffering, II Cor. 1:5; 6:4-5; 11:24-27 (3) In consolation, II Cor. 1:4-5; John 14:16 9. “God’s servants the prophets,” (Jer. 25:4), must endure the sulferings of prophets, Ezek. 2:6 10. As a servant he must give account to God, Heb. 13:17; I Cor. 4:1-2 B. AS A SEER 1. The prophet of God was once called a “Seer,” I Sam. 9:9, because he “saw” what could not be perceived by the naturalfaculties of man 2. Although the word is no longer used, the nature of the prophet still makes him a “Seer” in some respects, e. g., (1) He hears from God, I Sam. 9:15-17 (2) He reveals what he hears or sees, I Sam. 9:18-20 3. Specific examples of the prophet as a Seer may be observed in the revelation of: (1) A person’s identity, I Kings 14:1-6 (2) A servant’s covetousness, II Kings 5:20-27 (3) A woman’s true marital status, John 4:16-19 (4) The deception of God’s servant, Acts 5:1-11 (5) Coming events, Acts 11:27-30; 20:29; II Pet. 1:14 (6) A person’s thoughts, Matt. 9:3-5; Mark 2:6-8 C. AS A SIGN 1. The prophet himself may be a sign, Isa. 8:18, which, by his action or experience, constitutes a communication pointing to something else, such as a future event 2. Signs which are ordained of God: (1) Have a meaning and speak, Ex. 4:1-8 (2) Have the power of persuasion, Ex. 4:8-9 (3) Can have their meaning discerned, Luke 12:54-56 (4) Can have their message rejected through unbelief, Ex. 4:8-9 (5) May be prevented from being understood because of insincerity, Luke 12:56 3. A prophet may be a sign to other prophets in that he points to the things a prophet of God must be prepared to endure, e. g., (1) The implicit obedience to God which he must render, Ezek. 3:22-23 (2) The isolation from people which he may have to endure, Ezek. 3:24 (3) The limitations which may be imposed upon his movements, Ezek. 3:25 (4) The physical discomforts to which he may be subjected, Ezek. 4:4-6 (5) The uncertainty of a dwelling place, Ezek. 12:3 (6) The monotonous scarcity of food, Ezek. 4:10-11 (7) The eating of unsanitary food, Ezek. 4:12 (8) The humiliations to which he may be exposed, Isa. 20:1-4 (9) The bearing of hidden grief, Ezek. 24:15-18 4. Not only must the prophet of God endure the sufferings inherent in his ministry, but also the attitude manifested by others, Luke 2:34 D. AS A MARTYR 1. The prophet of God must be prepared to drink of the cup of a prophet, Luke 11:50-51 2. He must remember that the servant is not greater than his lord and not expect better treatment, John 15:20. Therefore he should expect: (1) To serve without honor, Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24 (2) To be disbelieved, John 7:4-5 (3) To be misunderstood, Acts 7:25 (4) To be defamed, Jer. 15:10 (5) To be ridiculed and ostracized, Jer. 15:17 (6) To be repudiated, John 7:52-8:1 (7) To be forsaken, John 6:66; 16:32 (8) To be envied, Mark 15:7-11; Acts 7:9 3. In order that the prophet might carry out his divine mission, he needs a divine constraint wrought within him by the Spirit of God, e. g., (1) Christ must NEEDS go through Samaria, John 4:4 (2) Christ STEDFASTLY set his face, Luke 9:51 (3) Paul was CONSTRAINED by the love of Christ, II Cor. 5:14 (4) Jeremiah, after telling himself that he would prophesy no more, “COULD NOT STAY,” Jer. 20:9 4. In order to sustain the spirit of the prophet in his sufferings he needs a divine enabling wrought within him by the Spirit of God, e. g., (1) To render to God a “divine yes,” II Cor. 1:20 (“The divine yes has at last sounded in him,” Moffat) (2) To respond with a divine “no” to all influences tending to deflect him from the divine will, Isa. 42:18-20 (3) To walk the path of suffering with the inflexibility of of divine flint in his spirit, Isa. 50:5-7 (4) To put the interests of the kingdom of God above personal needs through a divine passion, John 4:31-34 (5) To look past the hardships of the present to the future of a divine reward, Matt. 10:41 E. AS AN ORACLE 1 The prophet as an oracle of God is an authorized spokesman, Ex. 4:12-16 2. Such authorization involves having been sent by, and having heard from, God, Jer. 23:21 3. Christ was God’s supreme oracle, “that prophet that should come into the world,” John 6:14 4. Christ’s ministry was characterized by: (1) Something unusual, John 7:46 (2) Gracious words, Luke 4:22 (3) Amazing truths, Matt. 7:28 (4) Divine authority, Matt. 7:29 5. Notwithstanding the quality of Christ’s ministry, he was rejected on the grounds of: (1) His humble birth, Matt. 13:53-57 (2) The locality in which he lived, John 7:41 (3) A lack of suitable education, John 7:15 (4) A lack of proper credentials, Matt. 21:23 6. “Whence then hath this man all these things,” Matt. 13:56? (1) Not from himself, John 5:30, 14:24; 14:10 (2) From God, John 17:8; 12:49-50; Acts 10:38 (3) He was taught by God, John 8:28; Isa. 50:4-5 7. The R.S.V. rendering of Isa. 50:4-5 is as follows: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught” 8. The Father taught Jesus, (Isa. 50:4): (1) How to speak (“how to speak”) (2) What to speak (“a word”) (3) When to speak (“in season”) (4)To whom to speak (“to him that is weary”) 9. Divinely taught and equipped, Christ THE Oracle of God carried divine credentials, Acts 2:22

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