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Chapter 9

GUIDANCE IN CRISIS

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Section Titles
Noah
Abraham
Joseph
Moses
Samuel
Two Captivities
Restoration
John the Baptist
Paul
John
A Period of Silence
SUMMARY
FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION
SELECTED REFERENCES


Man's awareness of the presence of God is the heart of Christianity. The promise of Jesus Christ, “Lo, I am with you alway,” is a solemn but happy assurance of guidance and victory to His children. The church, too, is strengthened by the knowledge that the divine presence overshadows it for good.

The deist believes in a personal God who created the universe and who will finally serve as Judge of all mankind. But to him God is afar off—transcendent—not revealed in personal Christian experience, in nature, or in history. To the pantheist, all the forces and laws of the existing universe combine to form God. Although He is everywhere present, He is as impersonal as gravitation or the rays of the sun.

However, to the Bible Christian—to the Seventh-day Adventist—God is a personal Being, both transcendent and immanent. He is exalted above the world, and supreme Ruler of all; and at the same time He dwells in the world and in man as a personal friend and companion. Our concept is formed on the basis of such texts as these:

“The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.” Psalm 11:4.

“And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.” Daniel 2:21.

“I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims…. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is


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the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3.

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” Psalm 32:8.

The Bible record indicates that there is never a moment when the world in general, and God's people in a particular way, are out of range of the all-seeing eye of the Lord of heaven. Those who have accepted Him fully may know that they have come within the sphere of His protection and guidance, and that every word, act, and influence will be shaped by Him to help achieve good. This is true in the routine of life as well as in test, trial, and crisis. Through His word, by the impressions of the Holy Spirit, and by the workings of His providence, He guides to right decisions and right acts. This holds in the life of the individual and in the body of God's people as a whole.

On numerous occasions through the centuries the Lord saw that the type of guidance He gave day by day to individuals or through prophets to larger groups was not sufficient to meet the needs of a coming crisis. In preparation for such a crisis He gave special guidance through the prophets, with messages calculated to prepare the people for the critical event. It seems to be to this kind of circumstance that the prophet is referring when he says, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. Here Amos is recording the prediction of the coming punishment of Israel for her apostasy. Punishment was foretold for surrounding nations for some of their sins, but Israel's chastisement was to be for all her iniquities. Verse 2. The nation must be made fully aware of what lay ahead, so the prophet outlined in detail the reasons for the coming punishment and something of its nature.


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Noah

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This was only one example of a principle followed by the Lord throughout Old and New Testament times. Another striking illustration is found in the ministry of Noah for 120 years before the Flood. Not only did the prophet proclaim the message of the imminence of the destruction of the world by water, but he demonstrated his confidence in the word of the Lord by spending more than a century building a boat to carry himself and his family through the Flood. This lengthy period was allowed so that there might be abundant opportunity for both the people's character and Noah's faith to be thoroughly tested. There was no necessity for any to be ignorant of what was ahead.


Abraham

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Some four centuries later the Lord was ready for another kind of move among men. This time it was not destruction, but the forming of a nation through whom He planned to make known to the world His love and power. These centuries had seen a tremendous increase in the population,—only eight had survived the Flood,—yet their knowledge of God had not kept pace. Few were left whose worship had not become corrupted with idolatry. Of the few, one stood out as a prospect to become the father of a great nation that would eventually fill the whole earth. Abram was called out from Ur of the Chaldees, out of a family that had lapsed into idol worship. He was made a prophet and the founder of a nation to do God's bidding. Genesis 20:7. His work was different from that of Noah, but it was nonetheless the work of a prophet. Through Abram came the promises of the everlasting covenant that pledged to God's faithful ones the whole earth for their inheritance. He also received the promise of the coming of One through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. His own son, the child of


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promise, whose seed were to be as numerous as the sand of the sea, typified this One who would bring blessing to all. As the friend of God (James 2:23), and as the father of those who accept the grace of God through faith (Romans 4:16), Abram became the progenitor not only of the literal nation of Israel, but also of spiritual Israel, to whom the promise of the inheritance of the world would ultimately be fulfilled (Romans 4:13; Galatians 3:29). One to whom the Lord could give the prophetic gift was chosen to accomplish the work and give the demonstrations necessary to launch a literal and a spiritual kingdom.


Joseph

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To preserve the nation fathered by Abraham, and still so small that it could be measured by the size of Jacob's family, the Lord raised up another prophet. Even in his youth Joseph was given dreams that foretold events of the future. Genesis 37.

His sale as a slave to be taken to Egypt, his years in Potiphar's household and in the Egyptian prison, his interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker, the revelation of the meaning of Pharaoh's dream, his elevation to second place in the kingdom of Egypt, were all steps in preparing Joseph for the task of preserving the budding nation and giving it a place to grow.

In Joseph's words to his brothers after the death of their father, he makes it clear that he saw in all that had happened the working of God's far-reaching providence. “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.” Genesis 50:19-21. Preservation of the individual or nation in critical times has frequently been the function of the prophet.


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Moses

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In Moses and his relation to Israel, we see leadership and preservation combined. “And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.” Hosea 12:13. More than two centuries in Egypt, perhaps half of that time in bondage, had reduced Israel to a host of slaves without leadership and without hope. But eighty years before the time of their release God began to prepare them for that momentous hour when they would be delivered. He impressed the daughter of Egypt's monarch not only to spare the life of the baby boy she found at the Nile's edge, but to adopt him as her own son. He prompted her to leave the child with his own mother until there had been opportunity to teach him unforgettable lessons about his God and his people. At the age of twelve years he began a quarter of a century of training for leadership, so that he might know how to organize and direct his people when they would go forth to the Promised Land. Forty years more were needed to soften the heart of the general of the armies of Egypt, that he might be qualified to be shepherd of the flocks of the Lord when Israel should leave Egypt.

During the days in the desert the Lord called the shepherd of Midian to be His prophet. He opened to him views of the events of creation week, the fall of man, the days of evil, the Flood, Abraham's call to become the father of God's nation, and the early experiences of Israel in Egypt. These things Moses recorded, and they have come to us in the book of Genesis. He became God's historian of the beginnings of the world. Then one day he was called to active service as the Lord's representative to lead Israel out of Egypt. From the land of bondage to Mount Sinai, and then through forty years of wilderness wandering, and finally to the banks of the Jordan, ready to enter the Promised Land, Moses led the chosen nation. Not permitted to cross the Jordan himself, he was given a panoramic view of the land. He died and was buried by angels, and


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later he was resurrected and taken to heaven. In New Testament times he appeared with Elijah on the mount of transfiguration, and he thus encouraged Christ when He faced the hour of trial and suffering.

In this prince turned prophet, this general turned shepherd, are illustrated all the functions of the prophet. Moses was the greatest of them until the coming of the One who was to be “like unto” him. Writer of Scripture, leader, judge, messenger of God, psalmist, preacher, guide, protector, worker of miracles,—Moses was all these and more. He fills his own peculiar place in sacred history; his position is unique because his task was unique. The Exodus of Israel typifies the experience of the remnant church in its preparation for entrance to the heavenly Canaan. Because of this, the life of Moses and the journeys of the children of Israel deserve our intensive study in order that we may learn their lessons without having to repeat all their mistakes. Through the crises the prophet of God guided the destiny of the vast multitude who would have lost their way completely had they ignored the divine instruction.


Samuel

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The three centuries between Moses and Samuel produced no great prophets, although the prophetic gift was bestowed on a number of individuals. Samuel's career marked the transition from the full-fledged theocracy, begun when the people voluntarily placed themselves under God's leadership at Mount Sinai, to a modified form with kings as the visible heads of the government. Thus Samuel was the last of the prophet-leaders who had been frequently known since the days of Moses. His leadership was a period of unification and instruction. Knowing what was coming, God was using Samuel to prepare the way for the establishment of the monarchy, even though that was not His desire for the nation.

Samuel was one of those in whom the offices of prophet and


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priest were combined. It was in his boyhood, during his training for the priesthood, that the Lord first gave him a message to be delivered to Eli. Through the years that followed, “Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 3:19, 20. The people's respect and high regard for Samuel is apparent all through the record of his ministry. In many ways Samuel occupies a place in the history of Israel second only to that of Moses. It is not without reason that the Lord linked the two as He denounced the sin of Israel to Jeremiah. “Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.” Jeremiah 15:1. Often these men had stood before God to plead for the people, and if the intercession of any man could have availed, it would have been theirs. Each was responsible for the deliverance of the nation from the hand of the enemy. Each marked the closing of an old order and the beginning of a new. As it was Moses' privilege to anoint the first of the high priests, so it was Samuel's to set apart the first king of Israel, and later the first king from the tribe of Judah, the founder of the line in which Messiah was to be born. When a man of strong character, virtue, and leadership was needed, the Lord took the best man he could find, called him to the prophetic office, taught and directed the nation through him.

Through the years when the kings reigned, the prophets did not occupy the same positions of authority as they had previously. Their role was that of counselor more than of leader, except as leadership was shown in spiritual activities. For more than four hundred years after the beginning of the monarchy the quality of kings shifted back and forth from good to evil, and prophets were used to co-operate with the worthy rulers, or to rebuke and correct those who were going in sinful ways. Samuel warned Saul that the kingdom had been


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taken from him and his house; Nathan pointed to the sin in David's life; Huldah counseled Josiah concerning the roll of the law uncovered in the temple; Elijah denounced Ahab and later destroyed the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel; Isaiah assured Ahaz that Rezin and Pekah would fail in their attack on Judah. These are but samples of what the Lord did for the kings of the united and divided monarchies. Crisis after crisis was foreseen, and, if the word of the prophet had been heeded, these would have been averted. But as the centuries progressed, the word of the Lord through His messengers had less and less effect on the kings and the people as a whole. “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which He had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave them all into his hand.” 2 Chronicles 36:14-17.


Two Captivities

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The chronicler was here telling of the fate of Judah; but a little more than a century earlier a similar doom had overtaken the northern kingdom, Israel, when it was conquered by the Assyrians. However, neither invasion nor captivity had taken place without adequate warning and counsel by the prophets. In the northern kingdom Amos and Hosea had sharply portrayed conditions within Israel that called for intervention on the Lord's part, but with their messages of accusation and


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rebuke was an invitation to return to the Lord. In Hosea's message, especially, the love of God for His erring people was depicted, and with it was an expression of His eagerness to receive them back. Hosea's appeal was the last, and because of its nature perhaps the strongest, sent to Israel. It is possible that his ministry continued until the fall of Samaria to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. When it became apparent that the evils that covered the land had gone beyond remedy, the sentence was pronounced: “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. “The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it.” Hosea 9:7. “Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword.” Hosea 13:16. But the final chapter of the book is one of invitation: “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God…. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him.” Hosea 14:1-4.

Judah's time of probation continued more than a hundred years longer than Israel's, but the same doom came to both. The division of the kingdom in the days of Rehoboam helped slow the spread of idolatry in the southern nation. Isaiah made strong pleas for the people to turn from the worship of idols and to remember the God who was the Creator and who could foretell the future. He predicted their captivity and eventual deliverance. At the same time Micah was preaching against their presumptuous sin. “They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” Micah 3:10, 11. He pointed out the result of their course: “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.” Verse 12. Repeatedly he brought appeals for repentance. “He will turn again, He will have


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compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19.

By the time Jeremiah began his ministry, about twenty years before the first Babylonian Captivity, the situation appeared to be beyond hope; but still God worked through the prophet to try to avert the coming disaster. Even after the first and second invasions, in 605 and 597 B.C., the complete destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple might have been avoided if Zedekiah had been willing to surrender to the Babylonians instead of staging a hopeless resistance. The prophet was at hand to give counsel as to how to meet the critical times successfully, but his words were ignored even after they were asked for by the Reubenlike king.

Since the Assyrians scattered thousands of the people of Israel throughout their empire in an attempt to destroy the unity and identity of the nation, we have no record of prophets working directly among them. Judah, on the other hand, went into captivity in Babylon, and was not scattered as was Israel. It was the Lord's plan that those who would remain faithful during the Captivity should be brought back again to Palestine, and made a nucleus of a nation that would perform His will by giving to the world a revelation of His love and power. This was the same purpose He had in mind for His people originally. If ever God's people in ancient times faced a crisis, it was then. The Babylonians had no intention of permitting the Jews to return and revive the nation that had been so much trouble to them through the years. Satan's purposes, too, could be well served by having Israel swallowed up by this heathen nation. God's plan for the future depended on the preservation of a knowledge of Himself and of the true worship during the period of the Captivity.

As spiritual leader of Judah in exile, the Lord chose Ezekiel, a young priest, and called him to be His prophet. It was he who ministered to the people in Babylon during many years of the Captivity. Daniel, who occupied important positions in the


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royal court, supplemented the work of Ezekiel, but it was this prophet-priest who maintained contact with the people and was their spiritual guide. He held before them the glory of God as it had been revealed to him, and taught them that the Lord could be with them where they were as well as in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 11:16. Daniel's presence in Babylon after the death of Ezekiel undoubtedly did much to hold the people faithful until the time of deliverance by the decree of Cyrus. It is possible that he showed Cyrus the prophecies of Isaiah that told of the deliverer of Israel; he would be a general who would persuade the king to send back to Palestine the Israelites who wished to go. This gap in the national life of the chosen nation was bridged through the ministry and leadership of prophets, so that Judah had another opportunity to prove itself worthy of God's confidence.


Restoration

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For fifteen years after the first captives returned to Palestine from Babylon, little was done to restore the temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Most of the people seemed satisfied to build homes for themselves and settle down. They were not prospering, but they seemed to make no connection between this fact and their failure to fulfill the Lord's command. Under such circumstances there could be no restoration and rebirth of the nation. Was God's plan to fail even after He had preserved Judah and brought some of them back to start over again? Here was another task calling for prophets in places of leadership and counsel.

“Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:3-5. As a result of the challenge, work was begun on the temple. The testimony of Zechariah was added to Haggai's, and within fours years the


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rebuilding was completed. Later Ezra and Nehemiah, who were used to help re-establish the Jews, instructed them in the word of God, and led out in reform movements. So the temple was completed and its services reinstated, the city and the walls rebuilt, and government re-established. God had again used the prophets to meet the exigencies of the situation.


John the Baptist

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The coming of the next of the prophets was predicted in the last book of the Old Testament. Knowing that for some time there was to come a lapse in the frequency and prominence of prophetic messages, the Spirit of the Lord prompted Malachi to insert the message: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in.” Chapter 3:1. Again he told of a prophet like Elijah coming to prepare the way of the Lord. Chapter 4:5. The role of John the Baptist as prophet-forerunner of Christ fulfilled Malachi's prediction and served to link the Old and New Testament prophets. Since the days of Abraham there had not been so long a period without a prophet. It was necessary that the continuation of the prophetic gift be divinely predicted, lest the people should feel that the lengthy time gap indicated the discontinuance of the prophetic office.

The time had come for the Jewish nation to make the greatest of all decisions: “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” Matthew 27:22. This was the occasion for which the Lord had been trying to prepare His people since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The future of the nation and their usefulness to God in His plan to win the world was to be determined by this final response. That there might be no mistake in the identity of this One who had been so long predicted, Simeon, the prophet, had testified in


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the temple when the Babe Jesus was presented to the Lord: “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou has prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32. Also Anna, the prophetess, “gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Verse 38. John the Baptist was prepared to direct attention to Him. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” he had declared at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. After Christ's baptism, John spoke again as he saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descend upon the Messiah. The prophet said, “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29, 34.

Identification of Jesus Christ was unmistakable to the ones whose eyes were not blinded by pride, superstition, or sin. It was the testimony of the prophets Simeon, Anna, and John the Baptist that confirmed in many minds the conviction brought home by their knowledge of the Scriptures and their observation of the life and works of Christ. It was the testimony of the prophets that left without excuse those who did not see in Jesus Christ the fulfillment of the Old Testament predictions of Messiah to come for their redemption.


Paul

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The succession of calamities that plagued the Jewish nation, because of their rejection of the prophets and finally of Christ, reached its climax at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in A.D. 70. It was of importance not only to the Jewish nation as such, but also to the Christian Jews scattered in all places. Even the Christians had never turned their eyes away from the temple as the center of worship. What was to be the effect upon them when the temple should be destroyed? Unless they were prepared, the result could be disastrous. Again the Lord turned to His familiar method for preparing His people


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for the crisis. Through Paul, called not only to be an apostle but also a prophet, there was sent to the Hebrew Christians a message to direct their attention to Christ as their High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. In this way alone could they be brought to understand that the temple at Jerusalem was unnecessary to their true worship. The value of the Levitical priesthood had already ended; the presence of God had long since departed from the most holy place. A High Priest in a heavenly sanctuary whose ministration is accessible to all men everywhere at all times, had taken the place of the visible earthly services. Blood had been shed once that this ministry might be carried on for all. A full revelation of these facts would help to revolutionize the thinking of the early Christians and prepare them for the crisis when the temple fell. The gift of prophecy again met a crisis successfully.


John

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More than nineteen centuries have passed since the first advent of Christ. Indications are abundant and clear that His second coming is near. Between the two advents stretches a vast gulf through which the church has had to pass. At every step of the way Satan has placed snares to trap Christians. The way would have seemed too long, if not impossible, had it not been for the preparation the Lord made for the enlightenment and encouragement of His people. In the subtle combination of sweeping outline and precise detail characteristic of Bible writing, and so rare elsewhere, the story of the centuries was told so the true church might not be misguided or discouraged.

On Patmos, the beloved disciple received “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” which told of “things which must shortly come to pass.” Revelation 1:1. Seven phases in the experience of the church were pictured to the prophet. They span the period from his day to the promised time when he “that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne.” Revelation 3:21. The


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relation of the church and the world, as well as major events in secular history, were foretold. Satan's attempts to deceive and coerce were unveiled in advance. The whole was brought to a climax with a portrayal of the destruction of all wickedness, and the creation of new heavens and a new earth.

All this was revealed as a preparation for the succession of tests and crises God knew lay before His church. The prophet was the agent to convey to the believers a knowledge of these coming events: “He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John…. John to the seven churches.” Revelation 1:1-4.

The remnant church is brought into prominent view, for on it are fixed Satan's final hopes of victory in his warfare against the government of God. Because of the shortness of time, he redoubles his deceptions. As “the accuser of our brethren,” he attempts to persuade God that those who profess to be His people are not worthy of His attention and care, and he tries to persuade the church that its unworthiness has cut it off from God's protection and communication. So there may be no misunderstanding about His plan to reveal Himself anew in the last days, the Lord, through the prophet, states that the gift of prophecy is to be found in that same remnant church against which Satan is warring with all his terrible energies.

Faced with the commission to warn the whole world of the nearness of the second advent, and at the same time finding it necessary to wage constant war against the adversary, the remnant church needs the prophetic gift as much as any previous group in history, if not more. Prophecy clearly indicates that God has not forgotten or ignored this need. He has planned that all the gifts placed in the church shall continue as long as the need exists. Special guidance is needed to meet the problems of preparing the world for the end of all things earthly and to bring the people of God to that spiritual condition that they can endure the final conflict.


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A Period of Silence

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We recognize clearly that the operation of the prophetic gift was to continue to the close of New Testament times. We acknowledge also the fact that Jesus Christ placed in the church certain gifts, including the gift of prophecy, that He intended to continue to function until His second advent. Finally, we affirm that in the last days the remnant church has particular need of the gift, and that its manifestation is plainly indicated. Thus far we have dealt extensively with the gift in Bible times, and have observed numerous reasons for anticipating its presence in the remnant church, but have given no attention to the period between the close of the apostolic age and the last days. Did not the prophecies concerning the presence of the gifts of the Spirit apply to all the centuries spanned by the history of the church? Were there not crises to be met among God's people during those years of apostasy, darkness, and reformation?

Though the records are sparse and inconclusive, we can hardly conceive that God would withhold the prophetic guidance from these faithful Christians. Historians mention a number of individuals who were looked upon as prophets at one time or another during the period. See A. G. Daniells, The Abiding Gift of Prophecy, pages 175-228. Unfortunately it is not possible to point to a fully authenticated instance and say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that that person was a true prophet. This does not mean that the gift was inoperative, but it does mean that for some reason God did not see fit to preserve sufficient information to enable us to reach definite conclusions in regard to this matter. And this is not strange, for the writers of the Bible apparently make up only a portion of the individuals of their times who possessed the prophetic gift. Other persons are referred to in the Bible as prophets, but we have no information by which we may test their experience and none of their writings that we may study today. The silence is of


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the same kind that reigns between the Old and New Testaments.

It is likely that because of the apostasy and spiritual darkness of those centuries, manifestations were either limited or only local in their influence. An increase of prophetic revelation seems to be linked with increased attention to the will of God as revealed in His commandments. While the major trend during those years was away from Scriptural truth, it seems clear that there were always some who observed the commandments and did their best to conform to principles of truth. Certainly to these God fulfilled His promise of divine guidance through the working of the prophetic gift in one way or another.

It must not be forgotten, however, that all of the specific indications of the manifestations of the gift of prophecy following Bible times are given in the setting of the days immediately preceding the second advent. As has been mentioned, this fact does not indicate the absence of the gift during the intervening centuries. The implication is that there will be a revival of the gift rather than simply a continuation of something that had been common throughout the centuries.


SUMMARY

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1. A knowledge of God's presence with the individual is essential to living Christianity.

2. Those who trust God may be always within the sphere of His protection and guidance.

3. Guidance such as is vouchsafed the individual is available to the church and to the nation.

4. Numerous Bible examples illustrate that in times of crisis God has guided His church through the ministry of prophets.

5. The ministry of prophets that has been experienced in the past is promised to the remnant church prior to the return of Jesus.


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6. Never has the need for such guidance been greater than in the last days.


FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION

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1. Which of the incidents used in this chapter to illustrate prophetic guidance are employed in the Bible to typify last-day experiences of the remnant?

2. Find two or three incidents in the personal lives of individuals showing the guidance of prophets in times of crisis.

3. Gather all the evidence you can to show that not all that the prophets said or wrote is found in the Bible, and that there were prophets of whose sayings and writings we have nothing preserved. What purpose was accomplished by sayings or writings not perpetuated in the Bible record?

4. Is there recorded any crisis among God's people anciently for which God did not make preparation through the prophets?

5. Since God has guided His people by specially chosen leadership in the past, is it not logical and Biblical to expect that He will do the same in the last days?

6. If this special leadership has been consistently directed through the agency of prophets, is it not natural to conclude that He will do the same thing now?


SELECTED REFERENCES

Haynes, Carlyle B., The Gilt of Prophecy, pp. 63-69.

Our Firm Foundation, vol. 2, pp. 185-235.

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