The Spirit of Prophecy
Lesson 40

The earth that came forth from the hand of the Creator was exceedingly beautiful. Everything was tastefully and gloriously arranged. Wherever the eye rested there were evidences of a Creator’s love and care. There was nothing lacking that could contribute to man’s happiness or well-being. But man rejected all evidences of God’s love for him and chose to follow the tempter instead. This choice placed man in a state of rebellion against his Creator, and God could no longer talk directly with him.

1. By what new means did God reveal His will to men?

Hebrews 1:1; Hosea 12:10
Hebrews 1:1; Hosea 12:10

Note: To sin, God is a consuming fire (see Hebrews 12:29), and with sin now such an integral part of man himself, he could no longer bear the presence of God. Compare with Exodus 20:18–19.

2. What has God promised regarding His dealings with men?

Amos 3:7
Amos 3:7

3. Prior to the flood, how did God warn the people of that day?

Hebrews 11:7
Hebrews 11:7

4. Through whom did God call Israel out of bondage?

Hosea 12:13
Hosea 12:13

5. What was the general response of the people to these messages?

Jeremiah 7:25–26
Jeremiah 7:25–26

Note: All through Old Testament times, God communicated with His people by His prophets. Through them He gave not only warnings and at times, messages of encouragement, but He also revealed a coming Saviour. Not only were these messages generally despised and rejected but the people sank so far into apostasy that the words of the prophets were uncomprehended. Nothing more could be done within the framework of the typical system of sacrifices and offerings. Therefore God stopped speaking to the people through the prophets about 400 B.C. (See Lamentations 2:9; Jeremiah 23,:11–16.) Only with the coming of a greater light —the coming of Christ—was there hope.

6. What two persons confirmed the fact that Jesus was the Messiah?

Luke 2:25–27, 36–38
Luke 2:25–27, 36–38

Note: With the advent of Christ, heaven again seemed open to men, and within the new church, prophesying was again heard. We see that women, as well as men, were blessed with the spiritual gift of prophecy. See also Acts 21:8–9.

7. Just before Christ began His ministry, who appeared?

Luke 1:76; Matthew 3:1–3
Luke 1:76; Matthew 3:1–3

8. For what reason was the gift of prophecy confirmed in the church?

1 Corinthians 1:6–8; Ephesians 4:11–12
1 Corinthians 1:6–8; Ephesians 4:11–12

Note: It is by His prophets that Jesus corrects and instructs His people, seeking to restore them again to His own image.

9. What is another New Testament term for the spirit of prophecy?

Revelation 19:10
Revelation 19:10

10. How did Paul tell the believers to regard prophesying?

1 Thessalonians 5:20–21
1 Thessalonians 5:20–21

11. What happens in the absence of prophesying?

Proverbs 29:18
Proverbs 29:18

Note: Very soon following the establishment of the Christian church, all direct inspiration and prophesying appeared to cease. Comparing the writings of the church fathers, beginning a generation after the passing of the apostles, one is amazed at the inferior quality of these later writings. It was but the attempt to explain by worldly wisdom, the mystery of the gospel, robbing it of its power. The way was now prepared for the marriage of the church and state, whereby the church sought to use the power of civil government to supply the power it had lost. This was the great apostasy foretold by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4. During this period of spiritual darkness, the truth of the gospel was systematically replaced by error and its light was nearly extinguished.

12. Had this condition been foretold in prophecy?

Amos 8:11–12
Amos 8:11–12

Note: Because of the absence of prophesying during the long centuries of apostasy, many believed that it was a phenomenon of the past and not to be expected in modern times. Based on God’s past dealing with men we can know that an event as significant as the second coming of Christ will be prefaced with special instructions and warnings for the people then living. We are not left to deduction alone in determining this, for the Bible confirms it.

13. Of what did Christ warn His followers to beware in the last days?

Matthew 24:24
Matthew 24:24

Note: In His warning about false prophets preceding His return, Jesus implied that there will be true prophets at the time of the end. Otherwise He would simply have admonished them to disregard all prophets.

14. What was prophesied to take place just before Jesus’ return?

Malachi 4:5–6
Malachi 4:5–6

Note: While this prophecy applies to the coming of John the Baptist at Jesus first coming (see Matthew 17:12–13), it must find its most complete fulfillment just before the second advent.

15. What two characteristics identify God’s remnant people?

Revelation 12:17
Revelation 12:17

Note: This dual sign—keeping all the commandments of God, and having the spirit of prophecy—is found only in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Seventh-day Adventists are unique in that they not only teach obedience to all ten of the commandments, but they are blessed in having the spiritual gift of prophecy in the person of Mrs. Ellen G. White.

16. How may we know if a prophet does not speak for God?

Deuteronomy 18:21–22
Deuteronomy 18:21–22

Note: God has given various tests by which we may identify the true prophets from the counterfeits. Before we can safely accept anyone’s claims of divine inspiration, we must find that they meet all the biblical tests of a true prophet.

17. Does a predicted event taking place prove one’s claims to be inspired of God?

Deuteronomy 13:1–3
Deuteronomy 13:1–3

Note: While false predictions conclusively show a prophet is not of God, false prophets can make true predictions.

18. By what unerring standard are we to test a prophet’s words?

Isaiah 8:20
Isaiah 8:20

Note: God never changes. See Malachi 3:6. What was truth yesterday, is still truth today.

19. Is there any correlation between the life of a prophet and His message?

Matthew 7:15–18
Matthew 7:15–18

20. What three ways does God communicate with His prophets?

Numbers 12:6–8
Numbers 12:6–8

21. What happened to Balaam’s eyes while in vision?

Numbers 24:16
Numbers 24:16

22. What happened to the prophet Daniel’s strength in vision?

Daniel 10:8
Daniel 10:8

Note: Though without natural strength, we see that when strengthened by the angel, Daniel stood on his feet. See Daniel 10:10–11.

23. What happened to Daniel’s natural breathing during vision?

Daniel 10:17
Daniel 10:17

Note: When God gives a prophet a vision, He may reveal His work through supernatural signs.

24. In rejecting God’s messengers, whom do we really reject?

1 Samuel 8:7
1 Samuel 8:7

Note: All God’s messages to men are weighted with eternal significance. God never sends us messages which we are free to accept or reject as suits our feelings. See Matthew 23:37; 2 Chronicles 20:20. God’s counsel is necessary, or He would not give it to us. To reject the message or messenger is to reject its Author. When the first step is taken in rejection, a move is made that often sets one’s eternal destiny; each succeeding step tends to strengthen the deceived one in his deception.

Lesson 40 Insert

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