mikehill4jesus “Now this is a tough ministry – Prophets!”
11th & 12th June 2016 (12.40) My .mp3 Thought for Today Audio
The Lord Jesus wants Followers as in John 14:23. He does not want Admirers as in John 14:24.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [Followers] 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. [Admirers] These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’
True Disciples are Students of the Lord Jesus Christ. They learn from Him and then they obey Him!
Here are some examples of obedience to the commands of the Lord God
A Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush
Isaiah 20:1 In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— 2 at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
3 Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, [That is, the upper Nile region; also in verse 5] 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame. 5 Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. 6 In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’”
An article I found by Stephen Beale November 18, 2013
The prophets are among the oddest and most eccentric characters of the Old Testament.
That might actually be an understatement. Put bluntly, the behavior of Old Testament prophets was so bizarre that by today’s secular standards of sanity they would end up institutionalized, or, at the very least, in some form of intensive therapy.
Consider Isaiah, who stripped off all his clothes and wandered around naked (Isaiah 20). Or Jeremiah, who not only hid his underwear in a rock but then went back to retrieve it after a “long time” (Jeremiah 13). Jeremiah apparently didn’t mind parting with under garments, but he couldn’t be separated from the cattle yoke he had fastened to his shoulders until another prophet broke it off (Jeremiah 27 and 28). Yet another eyebrow-raiser was Hosea, who married a prostitute and named their daughter Lo-ruhama, which means ‘unloved’ (Hosea 1).
Then there was Jonah, the run-away prophet who spent three days in the belly of a whale before answering God’s call. When he eventually got around to preaching in Nineveh, the entire city repented. For any other preacher this would have been a joyous outcome. But Jonah—a prophetic Puddleglum if ever there was one—was so upset that his doomsday prophecy wasn’t fulfilled that he begged God to kill him, a request that went unanswered.
Jonah then went into denial. Convinced that a local apocalypse was still in the works, he left the city and picked a vantage point from which he might safely watch the whole fire-and-brimstone show. Jonah had no pity for the Ninevites, but when a small bush that had been sheltering him from the scorching-hot sun died, he went berserk, asking God once again to just end his misery.
But the weirdest of the lot may be Ezekiel. After witnessing a vision of God flanked by four chimerical creatures, the prophet ate a scroll that had been given to him (Ezekiel 1 and 3). Ezekiel was called to be a prophet, but his ministry initially did not involve any prophetic words, as God had rendered him mute (Ezekiel 3). Instead he took to drawing, depicting an image of Jerusalem under siege on a clay tablet. Then he lay down on his side, with an iron pan separating him from his clay art. After 390 days had passed, Ezekiel rolled over and repeated (Ezekiel 4).
After his clay tablet stunt was over, Ezekiel went new diet of barley cakes baked over cow manure (Ezekiel 4). Next Ezekiel used a sword—yes, you read that right, an actual sword—to shave off his beard, dividing his hairs into thirds. He set one third on fire. He scattered another third around the city and stabbed it with his sword. He threw the remaining third into the wind. But the hair histrionics were far from over: Ezekiel had saved a few hairs from such abuse, which he sewed into his clothing. Then he burned some of those hairs too (Ezekiel 5).
The weird stuff didn’t stop when Ezekiel finally started speaking. In Ezekiel 6, he prophesies against the mountains. Six chapters later, he goes into lurid detail—at least by biblical standards—about the sexual depravity of two sister prostitutes. Later, he prophesies over dry bones in a valley. As Ezekiel stands speaking to his captive audience, he has a vision of the bones coming to life (Ezekiel 37).
One crucial detail has been omitted in these accounts: the actions of Ezekiel, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Isaiah were commanded by God, which means that we cannot dismiss their behavior. Indeed, these men were not prophets in spite of their eccentricities. Rather, their actions were at the center of their ministry. In the Scriptures, they are explained as symbolic acts that convey divine messages along with their words. For example, the stripping of Isaiah symbolized the future humiliation of Egypt and Ethiopia at the hands of Assyrian conquerors. Jeremiah’s yoke signified the servitude of the Jews to Babylonia while Ezekiel’s dung-warmed meals foreshadowed their exile, where they would be forced to eat unclean food.
Jonah might seem an exception to all this, but God ended up using his wayward journey to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice and three-day descent into hell.
Looking back on Jonah and the others from the perspective of the New Testament we begin to see a sort of harmony between their bizarre behavior and their prophecies of both doom and deliverance. There is an incarnational logic to their ministries: these prophets were not just speakers of the word—they lived it out in their lives, through their actions, their choice of clothing, and even their very bodies. They are thus witnesses to how totally transforming and disruptive the Word of God can be when we let it consume our whole lives.
Now, this message may not have been as clear to the Jews of their day and those living in the centuries immediately afterwards. And the mystery of the prophets would have only deepened when all prophecy suddenly ceased with Malachi, ushering in 400 years of silence.
But, with the coming of Christ, we can look back at these prophets and see them as foreshadowing Him—not just through the prophecies that told of His coming, but through their prophetic actions. Christ was, after all, the Word Made Flesh in the fullest and richest manner possible. And, like the prophets, Christ’s behavior was utterly bizarre, disruptive, and confusing according to conventional social standards of the day. This was, after all, someone who promised to rebuild the temple in three days, dined with prostitutes and tax collectors, drove demons into a herd of swine, healed a blind man by rubbing mud in his eyes, and once walked on water.
It doesn’t get weirder than that.
In some ways, Christianity has watered down the Fall of Mankind and thus the need of the true Gospel of Jesus. For God to get the attention of Lost Souls (Unsaved Humans) called for drastic actions. There has been and still is a majority of people who selfishly ignor the Lord God and brake Moral Law while hiding their guilty conscience within Man’s Religion. Jesus described them as being on the Broad Road that leads to Hell.
These True Prophets may seem weird to the point of foolish, but they were and are on the Narrow Road to Heaven. They love their Lord God and they obey his teachings and commands.
Today’s Lost Souls are as against the Lord God, Jesus Christ, as those in the past. They also treat today’s Prophets given to them by Him with the same hatred.
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few people who were ill and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
When you study John 14:23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. You can, if you are able, to see that God is among us. The haters of the Lord God have attempted to put God outside of the earthly Community. Hence Christians who point up when talking about God. Who place Church Leaders between God and the People. Who call their Churches the House of God. Whose whole talk is as if God is not with us as described by the Lord Jesus.
God lives with and in those Saved Souls who love and obey Him. These are they who are on the Narrow Road to Heaven. That is why God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are living amongst us operating as the Body of Christ. A spiritual people that worldly people seek to copy by claiming that Christianity is the Body of Christ.
The true Body of Christ does not disobey the Lord’s commands – Perpetrating and covering up the sexual abuse of children – Hating the Ministers chosen to serve this Holy Saved Body of Disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit – and a lot more evildoing.
Ephesians 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
THESE SPIRITUAL MINISTERS ARE NOT WEIRD OR APPOINTED BY MAN’S CHURCH!
My Testimony of how God came into my life. It’s one thing to quote the Holy Bible, but you do need evidence to show that the teachings of the Lord Jesus are true.
Use these links for further information and study.
The Wikipedia webpage on God in Christianity – lots of long and difficult words.
The Doctrine of Moral Law Laws that even God is not allowed to break. Hence, the reason Jesus went to the cross and was raised from the dead.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ If you obey it’s requirements, you shall be saved from Hell.
The Doctrine of Church That shows if your CHURCH is true or false.
The Doctrine of Christians – What is a Christian?
The Doctrine of Promises Things you get depending on your obedience to Christ and Moral Law.