Date: Wed Feb 19 2003 - 08:07:02 EST
In a message dated 2/19/03 4:08:09 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> It would be very instructive to review everything in the Bible on this
> fascinating topic. But that would be a book-length undertaking.
> Throughout most
> OT times there were bands or schools of prophets. On rare occasion one
> prophet would prophesy one thing, and another would contradict him.
> Prophecy did not stop with Jesus, as the Acts describes instances of
> prophecy, and Paul himself was a prophet. There is no scriptural reason
> for saying that prophecy should end with the Bible. In fact, to say that
> any new revelation is not of God by virtue of being new would be to lay a
> major constraint on God. I think I know him well enough to say he'd find
> that particular straitjacket uncomfortable.
I would assume that most of the OT prophets predicted negative circumstances
that would arise when the people forsook the Law and in this respect much
prophecy was similar.
> ich Blinne in writing on mysticism said, "Those of us who are evangelical,
> born-again Christians are by definition to affirm the mystical. How are we
> to have a personal relationship with God if we have no subjective
> relationship?" By implication, then, all Christians who have a personal
> relationship with God have a personal revelation of God and hence are
> prophets when they speak of that relationship, because the basic meaning of
> prophet is one who speaks for God from personal revelation.
It is difficult for me to know what you mean by a subjective relationship
with God. If you study all mysticism, Christian and Pre-christian, eastern
and western, the relationship with God is enjoined when the "subject," the
self is abandoned (self-sacrifice). At that moment, God which had been object
in the presence of the subject, becomes the subject as there is no other
viable focus for attention. The subject/object dichotomy is reconciled as
there is no subject to get in the way. God's will is all that remains.
> n ordinary usage we reserve the word prophecy for special and unusual
> revelations. Although consonance with Scripture is perhaps a good rule in
> our time, how about OT times when Scripture of any sort was minimal or
> nonexistent? People asked Moses how to tell when a message came from God.
> He said (Deut. 18:22), "If what a prophet proclaims…does not take place or
> come true, " then don't believe him. But by this standard you can only
> know in retrospect, so it's not always the most useful standard. I'm not
> sure, honestly, how Ezekiel would fare by this standard, either. He makes
> predictions about Sodom and Tyre that several years ago I was unable to
> verify were ever fulfilled. He also seems to imply in one of his later
> chapters that the Messiah (the "prince") would have children.
What OT times are you talking about? Give me a time frame.
It was and still is inconceivable for orthodox Jews to accept that the
Messiah would be childless, but there is a difference between how orthodox
Jews speak of messiah and how we speak of Messiah. There is the Messiah of
the redemption who will be the one to rebuild the Temple and establish the
earthly rule of God and there is the messiah "of each generation" (the
moshiach) or in other words, the current leader of orthodox Jewry in the
whole world who works toward rebuilding the temple, but may not necessarily
to do it himself.
Another informative study would involve checking out all the detailed
prophecies made by canonical prophets about foreign nations to see whether
> could be verified. The Bible has been so thoroughly studied I wouldn't be
> surprised to find that someone's already done this.
> Jesus gave us a very simple standard (Matt. 7:15-16): "Watch out for false
> prophets….By their fruit you will recognize them." What does this mean?
> Obviously it would include such things as grossly immoral behavior,
> self-aggrandizement, sucking the flock dry of their earthly possessions for
> one's own benefit and instructing the flock to live in ways contrary to the
> teachings of Jesus and the apostles. But care is required. For example,
> Isaiah ran around nude for--what was it?--three years, Ezekiel lay on his
> left side for 390 days. So obviously you don't rule out a prophet just
> because he's odd. Contemporary Christians as a rule are gun-shy about
> special revelations because of all the ones in the past that were clearly
> not from God, and now they are perhaps more gun-shy than they should be.
The fruit of false prophets is extinction or being "spewed out of the land"
(See Leviticus 18 for a list of behaviors that would result in a people
becoming extinct or spewed out of the land).
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