Profile Of A Prophet

Profile Of A Prophet

Bill Burkett

John Baptist was a prophet approved of Jesus. Matthew 11:7-11.
The prophet, John Baptist reveals the lifestyle, the language, and the wisdom of God’s prophets.

Luke 3:1-20 John possessed the true prophet’s qualities.
(1) Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, (2) Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, [SEPARATION] the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias [OBEDIENCE] in the wilderness [ISOLATION]. (3) And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; (4) As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness [SIMPLICITY], Prepare ye the way of the Lord [REFORMER], make his paths straight. (5) Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low [DISTURBING]; and the crooked shall be made straight [DOGMATIC], and the rough ways {shall be} made smooth; (6) And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (7) Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers [ABRASIVE] [TACTLESS], who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? [ALARMING] (8) Bring forth therefore fruits [CORRECTIVE] worthy of repentance [REPENTANCE] [MALCONTENT], and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our [CONDITIONAL] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (9) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees [VIOLENT]: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire [IRRELATIVE]. (10) And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? (11) He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none [SACRIFICE]; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise [EXTREME]. (12) Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? (13) And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you [RIGHTEOUS]. (14) And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them [FEARLESS], Do violence to no man [HARMLESS], neither accuse any falsely [TRANSPARENCY]; and be content with your wages [CONTENTMENT]. (15) And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ [So, even though John was a desert recluse in skins they thought He might be the Christ come to deliver Israel from Roman rule.], or not; (16) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I [LIFTS CHRIST] cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose [SUBMISSION]: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (17) Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner [LABOR]; but the chaff he will burn [PREACHES TRUE CHRIST] with fire unquenchable. (18) And many other things in his exhortation preached [PREACHER] he unto the people. (19) But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife [HATES SIN], and for all the evils which Herod had done, (20) Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. [DESPISED]

These Roman authorities who lived in palaces and had soldiers and servants at their command were envied by many who served under them or coveted their favor with Rome and the Caesar. But when God drew open the curtain on the final act of the divine drama of redemption to announce the coming of the messiah, His son, to the world He had a man prepared living apart from the system.

God did not announce His son first in the tapestried halls of the palace, but to a lonely man on the barren desert.

He did not come where there were guards and butlers and maids, but to the habitat of lizards, wild animals and gnarled deadwood.

He did not come to the plush bedchambers of a Governor or a Tetrarch, but to a man laying under animal skins in the cool night air under the stars.

He did not come to announce the Holy child to soft men who ate dainties from the king’s table, but from a skinny young man whose diet was honey and locust husks.

He did not seek out a man with political ambitions who had ascended to his chair of authority by wooing the Caesar and beating out others, but he came to a man who gave up the privileged position of a priest in the temple, choosing rather a primitive life on the back side of a desert, out of the public’s eye in obedience to God.

After two thousand years everybody in the Christian world honors John Baptist, but today, who is Tiberius, Pontius or Lysanius to the common man?

But if John or another prophet of old would appear today would we accept him? The answer is an unequivocal, No!

The greater part of the people and ministers alike who make up the fundamental and holiness churches have hardened hearts and will not be reproved. This is our undoing. Because we have preserved the principles of separation as it may regard dress and lifestyle, our hearts would never receive a prophet if he should come to reprove of us of our sin and error. Why? Because John came with correction, harsh and tactless! The church today does not have the character or the humility to accept correction from God.

This has forced most pastors to leave off being strong teachers against sin and prayerlessness. The people will rise up and start a petition against him, split the church or usurp the authority of the pastor in a power struggle against him – but they will not submit to the authority of the pastor and his judgment in matters pertaining to the church. If those in the church think to know more than the pastor then let them depend on their privilege of prayer and put it in God’s hands through prayer to change the things in the church that HE thinks ought to be changed. But the fact they take things into their own hands and smash around like loose cannons on a ship deck accomplishing nothing but more damage, proves their spoken reasons as nothing but a smoke screen for hidden selfish motives. The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. When Christians rebel against authority “for the good of the church,” then let them use Biblically correct behavior born out of prayer if they are to be consistent. You do not use evil devices to accomplish the good of God’s church! He does not need your kind of help!

Godly prophets who carry the profile of the prophet Scripture gives us is needed – but pseudo spiritual self appointed lay people who want to dominate their pastors are not needed in the church. Every good pastor and evangelist will have a little prophet in him. If we have one such person in a church, its too many! To be corrective is to be abrasive to the carnal in the world we are living in. Pastor, evangelist, preach it hard and straight making no allowances for such foolish things as diplomacy and being relative. The purity of your message will attract those who long for purity and will build a pure church.

They didn’t all repent on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached his immortal sermon and accused them of killing the Lord of glory! But thousands did and those who came in under the spirit of guilt for wrong and repented made up that glorious Church of Acts that has been recorded in Scripture as our pattern. Preach the power of Pentecost just as Peter preached it! Hard preaching produces strong churches. Soft preaching with all of concern doing what is academically and psychologically correct has produced a the soft affluent and doctrinally illiterate apostate church that now dominates the fundamental scene, and Satanically timed to be the prevailing church influence at the time of our Lord’s sudden return. Let us not lose the spirit of the prophet in our pulpits, in our presentation of the gospel. What was said of Noah’s age has returned to a planet now swarming with six billion sinners committing the sins of the pre-deluvian age of Noah.

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [every…: or, the whole imagination: the Hebrew word signifies not only the imagination, but also the purposes and desires] [continually: Heb. every day] Genesis 6:5.

Prophets are hated by the wicked, and disregarded by the apostate.
Prophets are respected by the righteous who weep for the sins of damned men.

The Christian not committed to God’s plan to destroy sin will not be instructed in the more excellent path if they are rebuked or cited for misbehavior. The mentality of people today in our holiness churches from minister to people will not be corrected and will not admit to error. It is the character flaw that comes with pride and isolationism.

Jesus was tactless and outspoken against sin. Read Matthew 23.
Here, the Pharisees give us his profile as the people saw Him.
And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Mark 12:14.

Contained in this text you have the reputation of Jesus in the eyes of the people among whom He ministered described. The Pharisees used His reputation to flatter Him. It was part of the strategy to disarm Him, when their real intent in asking the question was to use either answer He would give, against Him.

But prophets cannot be flattered! In their opening remarks these Pharisees by using the qualities of Jesus’ reputation define the qualities of the prophet for Christians living in this desperation of the New Testament church.

(1) Master. That is, teacher. As was John Baptist so was Jesus a teacher of pure doctrine! Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. John 7:16

(2) We know thou art true. He was respected because He spoke the truth without apology or favor. Always look for the prophet’s proper respect for truth rather than his carefulness to please the man. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. (22) And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21-22.

(3) And carest for no man. To understand what the Pharisees meant by this we need only read the next phrase in this sentence. Jesus did not treat evil men differently because of the stature they held in the culture system. Whether it be a governor, a scribe, or a Pharisee, (Matthew 23:13) He treated all men the same. The only time He became stern was when those He addressed resisted the truth. Matthew 23.

A prophet is without diplomacy or flattery. Those tactics belong to the sinner and the apostate churchmen who think the sciences of psychology and humanism are more effective than preaching the truth in love.

Passive sin repented of should be met with graciousness and forgiveness.
Aggressive sin with no regret is met with the severity of justice.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. Romans 11:22.

When Herod started hunting Jesus down, like a fox hunting the small prey, they came and told Jesus he was coming after Him. Jesus said, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected [finished and then he can come and take me]. Jesus was never once at the mercy of Rome or the Jews! He gave His life willingly, submitting like a lamb, but not until His ministry was fulfilled. (John 10:17-18) A prophet of God is surrendered to the will of God and ready to die wrongly.

For thou regardest not the person of men. This phrase reveals clearly what the Pharisees meant in the phrase before this; That He never regarded the station or rank of a man when He taught the kingdom of God. The matter of righteousness with Jesus was not a matter of the rich or the poor, because He knew there was good and bad in both. Jesus, being the Prince of Heaven and the second person of the Godhead outranked them all! He was their creator, their superior, and their eternal judge and knew it very well. They were mere mortals, proud dust that could not intimidate Him! A prophet does not respect the stature, the office or opinions of friends or persons of rank or wealth. He only speaks against sin wherever it lies.

We have prophets today but they are not heeded. I have heard them over the radio denouncing sin accurately. I have read their books and watched as apostates gnashed on them with their teeth. But throughout the land and for all to heed their message is gone out to be received by those who love the truth. May these qualities of the true prophet as we see them in Scripture help us to be more careful to receive men we might have thought were just too abrasive to do any good for the kingdom. If a man is abrasive, direct, dogmatic, righteous; If he chafes and offensive – listen carefully. If he is tactless, with alarm in his voice and there is no sin in his life, listen – you may be listening to one of God’s prophets. If he speaks of judgment and the violent wrath of God, if he is extreme, simple and seems to be malcontent – listen carefully to his voice – you may be listening to one of God’s prophets. They are out there!

Amen!

 

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