Spies And Prophets
At the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, 21-year-old schoolteacher Nathan Hale was asked to spy on the British. He personally despised the morality of spying, but became convinced that foreknowledge of British intentions was necessary. Hale was captured as a spy and ultimately hung by the Redcoats. In one of the most famous quotations we have recorded in our history books, just before he was hanged, Hale declared, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
The British and Americans used a total of about 500 spies during America's battle for independence. We have historical documentation that George Washington used his spies and their gathered information more effectively than the British, and was able to defeat a superior force by acting upon his foreknowledge of enemy actions.
The LORD has given Christians a type of spiritual spy - a prophet - to help us in the battle with Satan and his forces of evil. The scriptures are full of prophetic information (foreknowledge), which has been provided to allow Christians the same advantage of foreknowledge that the father of our country used to fight, and win, against an overpowering force. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance describes a PROPHET (Strong's #5030) as a "foreteller."
The last chapter of the Bible, Revelation, opens with the prophet John explaining that God has shown him, "things which must shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1). The book of Revelation is a written version of John's visions and foreknowledge of future events. Christians can use John's "intelligence information" and form a last day's defense armed with this foreknowledge of the enemy's intentions.
John tells those "that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy" (those that study and understand the gathered intelligence of God's spy) - that they are blessed (Revelation 1:3).
In Revelation, Christians read that the true church of Jesus Christ will keep the Commandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:11, 14:12). The testimony (Strongs #3141) of Jesus is the "evidence" and the "witness" of Jesus Christ. Prophecy is a God inspired evidence and witness of the truth of who JESUS is, who His Father is, and that the scripture is 100% true and correct.
Only the true God can foretell the future of all things unerringly. God, through his Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of JESUS in exact detail - so that those who truly sought after Him would be led to him. In Revelation, the prophet John has explained in exact detail the events that foreshadow and precede the return of Jesus.
In scripture, we find there were other prophets during the early church era. Men like Paul, Peter, Philip, and others are described as leading the church through the gifts of understanding given to them from God. These prophets were given understanding of the existing scriptures. For example, Paul wrote to Timothy interpreting the nature of the scriptures when he wrote "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable...." (II Timothy 3:16).
To the Romans, Paul also prophesied utilizing the existing Word of God when he wrote "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee...." (Romans 9:17). The prophet James likewise taught concerning the understanding of fulfilled prophecy concerning the faith of Abraham when he wrote "And the scripture was thus fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God...." (James 2:23)
Other prophets, like Philip and Agabus led the early church as prophetic spies invading the kingdom of Satan with the truth of what God was doing in their day (Acts 8:26, Acts 21:10). Peter even warned the church they need to listen to the prophets when he wrote "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed...." (II Peter 1:19) Even though all these prophets led the church, modern theologians now say that there are no more prophets because the apostolic era has come and gone.
The Bible itself prophesied that the last day's church would do this when the Word tells us they shall "turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (II Timothy 4:4) Thus, the mainstream "Christian" church is devoid of any understanding of these end times prophetic events. Without superior spies (prophets of God) the church cannot hope to understand its enemy, and defend against the forces of evil that it faces. Because the majority of the modern church has no acccurate foreknowledge of Satan's plan, the prophesied "strong delusion" has already overtaken significant portions of the church, and the Antichrist and his False Prophet will soon replace the true Christ as the head of the earthly church, and the one-world government.
But God has promised that he will always preserve a righteous remnant, and that remnant church of Jesus Christ will receive the truth of God "as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:7)
January 28, 2002 -- Doug Hudson
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