Recap from last week.
Good morning Church and a warm welcome to everyone, those worshipping with us for the first time, those accessing this message for the first time. This morning we continue from where we left off. This is the second installment of the series, the workings of prophecy.
If you were absent from church and you haven't caught up on last sermon, please watch The Workings of Prophesy 1 on YouTube.
A brief recap. I started by defining the word prophecy. I explained it as either a foretelling or a forthtelling. I then explained the two types of prophecy and concluded on the purpose of prophecy. I explained that according to 1 Corinthians that prophecies are meant to help to strengthen, encourage and comfort us.
In this second instalment, I'll finish of this session on purpose and talk about our responsibilities as it pertains to prophecies.
Purpose of Prophecy
Forwarn. One other purpose for prophecy is to forewarn us. So many of the prophecies in the OT are about God warning Israel about the forthcoming judgement if they continue in their wickedness and disobedience against God. God also warned other nations. One classic example was when God warned the people of Nineveh. Nineveh was a large pagan city that symbolised enmity with God and God sent a prophet Jonah to warn the city. The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” Jonah 1:1-2 NLT.
Preparedness. God also reveals future events or what he is about to do to prepare us. I'm sure that many of you have experienced this before. A classic example of where God showed Peter what was about to happen in a prophetic trance to prepare his response. Gentiles were about to come and invite him to come into their homes and according to the Jewish teachings, they were to have nothing to do with Gentiles. The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” Acts of the Apostles 10:9-20, 28-29 NLT
The sovereignty of God. Prophecies points to the sovereignty of God. Sovereignty means that God is Lord over all, he bears sovereign rule over all and can do as he pleases. He is Lord because He is the creator God. Only the creator God can foretell the future and only God can truly call those things that be not as though they are. So listen to the His claim here in Isaiah 46:10-11 NLT.
Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. I will call a swift bird of prey from the east— a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it. Isaiah 46:10-11 NLT
God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Ephesians 1:9-10 NLT
With that said, allow me to conclude on our responsibility as it pertains to prophecies.
4. Provoking actions
Church, because God forewarn through prophecies, our response at such is to yield to prophecy and obey him. Remember when God sent his prophet Jonah to speak against Nineveh, the people responded with obedience as God desired.
Obedience simply means compliance and it means more than obeying rules and regulations, it's more of lifestyles. Are we obedient to God or are we rebellious. God prizes obedience very much. He said that it is better than sacrifice.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to hearken than the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 KJV
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 1:19-20 KJV
Rebellion is very nasty. Rebellion is an outward behavior driven by the Spirit of rebellion. Rebellion resists authority.
It’s likened to witchcraft in the Bible (see 1 Samuel 15:23).
It makes us unprofitable (see Hebrews 13:17). Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17 KJV
It brings judgment upon us (see Romans 13:1-2). Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:1-2 KJV
In other for us to experience God’s best for us and his promises, we need to have faith. If we don't believe then, some of the promises can't come to pass.
Faith is absolute rock solid trust in God. It's believing in God that he would do what he promised to do and what he says He will do.
Faith is required to function here on earth. We exercise faith everyday and all God is saying is simply Have in me too. Trust me for what I said I would do. For example, when we go to a restaurant, we exercise faith. Faith that you're going to enjoy your meal. Faith that the food is well cooked. I remember my got food poison from a particular restaurant and ever since she's not interested, she has no faith in the restaurant.
Every time we take a flight, we trust that the pilot is well trained and he is capable. We never go check on him. All God is saying is that we put our trust in him above all.
All throughout the entire world, God has literally signposted Himself and yet some people choose not see and believe him.
You only to look at the galaxy and you will see him there. The wisemen looked the galaxy and they saw the star of Jesus. The Hebrews found themselves in the furnace of fire and saw Jesus. You only need to look and you will find God.
I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command. Isaiah 45:12 NLT
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 KJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Hebrews 11:1-2 KJV
Why do I need to pray for what God said he would do.
1. We pray because it is a believer's lifestyles.
2. We pray to be in agreement with God. Amos 3:3. When you pray God word over a matter, it means you're in agreement.
3.. We pray because we have an adversary who is working against us
4. We pray as a demonstration of faith
4. We pray as part of our responsibility to