AVENUES OF COMMUNICATION
How did God communicate with man in Eden?
"And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" Genesis 3:9.
Since the fall, by what means has God generally made known His will to man?
"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." Hosea 12:10.
What things belong to God, and what to us?
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever." Deuteronomy 29:29.
How fully and to whom doe's God reveal His purposes?
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.
How does the Lord reveal Himself to His prophets?
"If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." Numbers 12:6.
Under what influence did the prophets of old speak?
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21. (See 2 Samuel 23:2.)
How are both the origin of prophecy and the means of com- municating it still further shown?
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John." Revelation 1:1.
What angel revealed to Daniel his visions and dreams?
"Whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftlytouched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, 0 Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." Daniel 9:21, 22. (See also chapter 10, and Revelation 22:9, 10.)
What Spirit was in the prophets inditing their utterances?
"Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them, did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." 1 Peter 1:10, 11.
How were the Lord's words to the prophets preserved?
"Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters." Daniel 7:1. (See Jeremiah 51:60; Revelation 1:10, 11.)
By whom has God spoken to us in these last days?
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son." Hebrews 1:1, 2.
What was one of the offices to be filled by the Messiah?
"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken." Deuteronomy 18:15.
FORETELLING THE FUTURE
Can the wise men of the world foretell the future?
"Daniel answered before the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magi- cians, nor soothsayers, shew unto the king." Daniel 2:27, R.V.
Who did Daniel say could reveal secrets?
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." Verse 28.
How did the prophet Daniel acknowledge the insufficiency of human wisdom?
"As for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart." Verse 30.
After revealing and interpreting the dream, what did Daniel say?
"The great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter." Verse 45.
How does God show His foreknowledge?
"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." Isaiah 42:9.
What was foretold through the prophet Joel?
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall proph- esy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28.
When did this prediction begin to be fulfilled?
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall' see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:16, 17.
What were some of the gifts Christ gave to His church?
"When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. . . . And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." Ephesians 4:8-11.
By what means did God deliver and preserve Israel?
"By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved." Hosea 12:13.
When Moses complained of his slowness of speech, what did God say Aaron should be to him?
"And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God." Exodus 4:16.
What did God afterward call Aaron?
"And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." Exodus 7:1.
TESTS OF TRUE AND FALSE PROPHETS
What is one test by which to detect false prophets?
"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:22.
What other test should be applied in determining the validity of the claims of a prophet?
"If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His com- mandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him." Deuteronomy 13:1-4.
NOTE.—From these scriptures it will be seen that, in the first place, if a prophet's words do not prove to be true, it is evidence that God has not sent that prophet. On the other hand, even though the thing predicted comes to pass, if the pretended prophet seeks to lead others to break God's command- ments, this, regardless of all signs, should be positive evidence that he is not a true prophet. What rule did Christ give for distinguishing between true and false prophets? "By their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20.
What general rule is laid down for testing all prophets?
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD'S PROPHETS
How did God's prophets anciently use the words of former prophets " in exhorting the people to obedience?
"Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity ?" Zechariah 7:7.
What is the promised result of believing God's prophets?
"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper." 2 Chronicles 20:20.
What admonition is given regarding the gift of prophecy?
"Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21.
What will characterize the last, or remnant, church?
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17.
What is the "testimony of Jesus"?
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Revelation 19:10. (See Revelation 1:9.)
What results when this gift is absent?
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18. (See also Psalms 74:9.)
COME, Holy Spirit, come,
Let Thy bright beams arise,
Dispel the sorrow from our minds,
The darkness from our eyes.
Convince us all of sin,
Then lead to Jesus' blood,
And to our wondering view reveal
The mercies of our God.
Revive our drooping faith,
Our doubts and fears remove,
And kindle in our breasts the flame
Of never-dying love.
'Tis Thine to cleanse the heart,
To sanctify the soul,
To pour fresh life in every part,
And new create the whole.
Come, Holy Spirit, come,
Our minds from bondage free;
Then shall we know, and praise, and love,
The Father, Son, and Thee.
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