Soap Box Review of, “Audacious” from Beth Moore.


As most of you know, I am a bit biased due to Moore’s sloppy ecumenism and claims of extra-biblical personal revelation. (some of that she has attempted to correct.)  That being said, I am not on a witch hunt, and I am not a heresy hunter.  I don’t run a discernment ministry site.  I simply review Christian books and Bibles, so people can make informed decisions before laying down their hard won sheckles.  

I could easily dismiss her book as a simple edit of her, “vision statement.”  She basically has just added two words to her old vision statement, and contrived a book around it.  Instead, I decided not to discount her offering based on my bias.  I should also let you know that I am not the target audience for a book like this.  I prefer more specific language and less color when reading a theological book. Before you get upset at me stating that her book is theological, perhaps you should consider that any study or writing about God is considered theological.  

There are feelers and there are thinkers, and I’m not saying that these two groups are mutually exclusive.  There is a spectrum, and we all think and feel.  Some of us are predominantly motivated by reason and thought, where others are moved more by emotions and feelings.  I am in the first category.  That, along with being a fortyfour year old male, and a Reformed Baptist, is why I am not the target audience.  If you are a woman who likes to get into someone’s personal life, thoughts, emotions, history, and you want to have a little information about God sprinkled in, then you are the target audience.  Feelers, aren’t so persnickety about precise language.  They understand the intent of the author who paints with their colors.  People who are on the other end of the spectrum, are concerned that the wrong ideas will be conveyed if the language is not precise.  We don’t want to be responsible for someone falling into heresy.  Our motto is, “If you can’t improve on the silence, then don’t say anything.”  In regards to theology it looks more like, “The Bible says it better, just read and quote the Bible.  If you must write a book, be sure that you are faithfully, accurately, and truthfully, expositing the word of God in a beneficial manner that edifies, and educates, the reader.”  If you aren’t doing that, stop writing.  

Beth Moore’s book takes 178 pages to express the Shema, or the Greatest Commandment of God’s word, and what could be said in one short blog article.  I would be glad to read 200 pages or more dealing with this topic if each sentence were valuable.  Moore’s book had very little of value to me.  She writes 178 pages by pumping up the word count, adding all of her quiche Mooreisms, out of context, sometimes misapplied scriptures, personal stories, and wordsmithing.  She does all of this without adding that much quality content.  It is a piece of fluff.  Some people may be encouraged by it if they care about all of Moore’s stories. On the other hand, if you want to learn about God, instead of Moore’s books, there are plenty of other worthwhile books to invest your time in.  It was a painful for me to push through and read.  I would have liked to have had a strainer to filter out the sound little tidbits, and discard the copious amounts of page filler.  This is my personal experience with her work.  If you enjoy her style then you will like this book as it seems to be more of the same.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1433690525

I Really Wanted to Like This Movie, but… A Review of “Risen.”

Let me just start by saying that I won’t post any spoilers.  If you want to know specifics you can message me.  That being said, I truly wanted to like this movie.  I especially wanted to like it when I heard what the premise was, and also saw that Joseph Fiennes was in it.  He did such a wonderful job as Martin Luther.  He, and a couple other actors outclassed the actors that played the Apostles, and it felt like hippies from the (I removed a word here.  See the comments below to read why.)  movement wrote the lines for the Apostles.  This movie had so many opportunities to do it right, but it never coalesced.  We never heard why Jesus had to die, we never heard that He was truly God, we never heard any confession of sin on anyone’s part.  All we did hear were incoherent ramblings about love unrelated or linked to the gospel.  I was so disappointed with this film.  I was hoping for a “Jesus of Nazareth” or a Charleton Heston in “The Ten Commandments” level production.  This was devoid of any useful theological information, or gospel proclamation.  I was also let down by the incongruous use of artistic license.  Sometimes it was seamless, and others it was glaringly awkward.

It wasn’t all bad.  It far exceeded the recent tripe that has come out of Hollyweird.  With the bad taste left in our mouths from “Noah” and “Exodus gods and Kings” with batman as Moses, I found their effort with “Risen” to be a bit refreshing.  The acting of the main characters was top notch, the supporting cast… meh.  There was no profanity, or romantic scenes.  There was however, graphic violence.  If you want to have Christian themed entertainment that never gets around to being truly helpful and wastes your time, then go see, “Risen.”  Otherwise, stay home and do a Bible study.  You’ll get much more out of that.  Then, go out and evangelize the lost.  They need it and this movie isn’t going to get it done.

A Review of the ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible, in Black Top Grain Leather.

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Crossway sent me this beautiful Bible for review.  It is a wonderful value.  You get so many great features with this Bible.  It is also a good multipurpose Bible.  Initially I thought the font might be too small for Pastors to use it from the pulpit, but I was wrong.  The verse format layout, terrific paper, and crisp clean print, make it well suited to serve as a preaching Bible.  It is a reference Bible, so it also lends itself to study.  The references and notes are out of the way at the bottom, so it also works good for reading.  If you are in the market for a new Bible to fill a few roles, keep reading.  I think you’ll be as impressed with this edition as I am.

The ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible was packaged in a small white cardboard box.  

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The Bible itself was inside the retail clamshell box.  Keep the box for storage.  This is not a Bible to be stood up on edge like a hardback book.  The Bible arrived undamaged from Crossway.  Inside the packaging the Bible was wrapped in clear plastic.

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Once removed, I was able to begin assessing the top grain leather.  It had a very supple feel to it.  It was nice and soft. There is also a perimeter groove on the cover.

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The inside liner seemed to be a bit different than the outside cover.  I e-mailed Crossway and asked them about it.  They informed me that it is Cromwell® bonded leather.  For those of you who are balking at that, keep in mind that Cromwell® bonded leather is not the same as the low grade bonded leather you are used to seeing in the past.  It is a far superior product and should last as long as the top grain leather cover, if not longer.  One of the bonuses of using this material as a liner is that it can be had in thin sheets.  This makes it possible for the bindery to get the cover mated to the liner with more precision and less bulges on the corners.

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This, being an edge-lined Bible, it is important to not use a heavier material that would reduce the supple feel of the cover.

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In my opinion, it was implemented quite well.  For the price, I would definitely recommend purchasing this edition over the ones with genuine leather or synthetic covers if you can afford the extra money.

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In the front you’ll find a Presentation Page, Publisher’s Page, Table of Contents, Books of the Bible in Alphabetical Order, Preface, and an Explanation of Features.  

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The spine is ornamented with four spine hubs, and gold lettering.

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The page edges are gold gilt and the corners are rounded.  There are also decorative gold and black, head and tail bands.There are two black ribbons that are decent quality.

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They are thicker than some less expensive ribbons.  For me two ribbons or more is a must.  Three ribbons is perfect in my opinion.  You get one for the Old Testament reading, one for devotional reading of Proverbs, and one for the New Testament.  Of course, two will suffice, and is certainly better than only one.  Four just seems supernumerary to me.

Of course where this Bible shines is the paper and print.  Crossway has done a good job utilizing superior paper compared to their competitors.  Rarely do you find Bibles in this niche with paper of the same weight and opacity.  Crossway is employing a 36 g.s.m. Apple Thin Opaque paper.  Keep in mind that many of their competitors call 28 g.s.m. paper top notch.  The print in this black letter edition is sharp and uniform throughout.  I haven’t run into any areas where the print fades or is smudged.  The font is 9 pt. in size and is Lexicon face.  At first glance it seems larger than it is, in my opinion.  I think that is due to the opaque paper, print, and line spacing, making it very legible.  It is easy on the eyes.  

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Preaching from the pulpit and looking down at a 9 pt. font in another Bible with lesser paper and more ghosting would be a bad idea, but with this Bible you could easily do it.  There is also a generous outside margin for some limited note taking.

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The drawback of course is that some of the type gets lost in the gutter.

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In some regards, like the paper and print,  I would rate this Bible up there with the premium ones.  Due to the lack of some of the more ornate features, like art gilt page edges, better ribbons, gilt perimeter lines, and better leather for the inside liner I can’t call it a premium Bible.  Of course the price on this edition more than makes up for what little quibbles I might have.  I’ve paid over $200 for an Allan.  This Bible can be had for a bit over $80.  That makes it an outstanding value.  The suggested retail is  $149.99.  Some publishers list a suggested retail that I would never pay.  This Bible is worth the suggested retail.  On some retail sites it can be found for as little as $84.99.  Other than the gutter complaint, the layout is great.  You get a double column, verse format, with approximately 80,000 cross references located at the bottom of the pages.  You also get a 76 page 3 column concordance, and 8 color maps in the back.

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At the start of each book is a brief introduction.  I personally love well written book introductions.

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You also get a smyth-sewn spine with this edge-lined Bible adding to the durability and flexibility.

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You would be hard pressed to find a Bible with all of these features even in a higher price range.  In my opinion, Crossway has hit the ball out of the park with this edition and set the standard for their competitors in the $80 to $150 range.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9781433545689

Toxic People, Toxic Relationships, a New Age Cop out.

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How many times have you heard from one of your married friends who is being left by their spouse, “We were just toxic together.”  Probably as many times as you’ve heard, “He/She was just toxic for me.”  People complain, “I’m just not happy.  I deserve to be happy.”  So many of my friends, as of late, have had these things said to them, usually followed by, “I don’t love you anymore.”  For good measure they might even throw in a, “You are controlling and abusive, I never loved you.”  These are some of the most selfish, and injurious accusations I’ve heard in a long time.  These are also very sinful and rebellious.  They are definitely not Christian sentiments.  I believe they are selfish and used as a cop out.  It is the lie they tell themselves, and others to not put in the hard, sanctifying and gospel exemplifying work that is needed for a life-long covenant between them and God.  

I’d expect to hear this vitriol coming from the lost, but we often hear it coming from professing Christians.  I’ve even seen several articles on supposedly Christian websites that advocate divorcing a toxic person.  Have they forgotten that everyone is a, “toxic person?”  Have they forgotten the power of the gospel?  Have they forgotten that God hates divorce?  If they are saved, and acting/feeling like this then, they are in rebellion, and will be disciplined by God.  If they are false converts, they will receive their just punishment in Hell, where God will be just and right to pour out His wrath on them for all eternity.   

Of course you are in a toxic relationship.  You are a toxic sinner.  Of course your spouse is toxic.  They are a sinner.  When you put two sinners together in a room they are going to sin.  They are going to be selfish, prideful, arrogant, idolatrous, and petty.  Of course you aren’t happy.  You are expecting another person to make you happy.  Guess what…  a sinful person will always let you down.  You will never be fulfilled by another human being.  You can only find the contentment you are looking for in God and His gospel.

Oh, and here is another big shocker, regardless of what you’ve heard, you don’t deserve to be happy!  You are a sinner, like everyone else.  God is perfectly just, holy, righteous, and good.  You have broken His laws and are a guilty sinner.  You and I deserve to be punished.  We don’t deserve to be happy.  You and I deserve to be killed by God, and be sent to Hell for eternity, just like everyone else on the planet.  You see, it is a sin problem, not a relationship problem.  The only way it is a relationship problem is that as sinners we are enemies of God.  If we want peace with Him, we must repent and believe in the work of Christ on the cross, to justify us with God.

We read all of the New Age drivel on websites, blogs, and social media.  We listen to podcasts, and self-help gurus on the radio.  It validates, and justifies the selfish, idolatrous, sinful, thoughts.  Why do people consume these things?  I know why I am here.  I am here to combat the darkness that has been enslaving people, and ruining marriages, children, and families for far too long in this country.  Why are you here?  Are you here to flirt with the darkness?  Do you want to hear something that will give you permission to give up and give in to sin?  Are you being tempted by the New Age malarkey?  Are you setting up false teachers to tickle your ears?  Wake up!  We need to stop behaving like selfish children and truly understand what this means, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Do you think you are something special?  Do you think you deserved His love?  If it weren’t for His grace, we’d all be lost.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not telling someone who is getting physically abused to stay in the home.  If you are getting physically abused you should be separated.  “Separated” does no mean, “Oh goody, time to commit adultery.”  Being separated for a time can be necessary, but it is always supposed to be temporary.  If your spouse has committed adultery you may divorce them.  If your spouse is an unbeliever, and walks out on you, you may divorce.  If you really understand grace, even though you may divorce them, if they are repentant, you will forgive them and give grace to them, just like the way Christ gave grace to you, instead of what you deserve.

I don’t agree with the modern definition of psychological abuse.  Pretty much any difficult thing you talk about with a person can be deemed abusive anymore.  Obviously if you are a Christian you should not hurt your spouse emotionally.  You should not intentionally or maliciously hurt their feelings.  It is sinful to do so.  Your sin does not justify a divorce though unless it fits the criteria mentioned above.  Christ endured our scorn and ridicule while on the cross, dying for a bunch of sinners.  Do we think we deserve better than Christ?

We all want the romantic fairy tale marriage.  We all want to feel loved.  Some people are living the dream, but it might not have always been that way for them.  How do you think they got there?  It wasn’t by giving in and giving up that is for certain.  They had to fight against their own sin, and forgive the other’s sins, while loving God more than anyone or anything else.  They had to trust and obey God, not their ever-changing emotions.  If you give up you miss out on the sanctification that God has planned for you.  If you give up, you’ll just take your sin problems with you to another sinner and find some other reason to leave them.  You’ll never deal with the real problems as long as you use the cop out excuse of, “They were just toxic, it was a toxic relationship.”

Our only hope in marriage is Jesus Christ.  Our only hope in life and death is Jesus Christ.  If we have been saved from our sins by Christ, then we are obliged to demonstrate the same type of sacrificial love for our spouse.  We love them without any expectations of return on our investment.  We love them because Christ loves us.  Our sins put Christ on the cross.  It is as if we had the hammer and nails in our hands and put Him up there ourselves.  He died for us, knowing that we hated Him.  He got nothing worth having in saving us.  By God’s sanctifying work, the Holy Spirit conforms us to the will and word of God, to be Christlike to the world, including our spouse.  We love them even though they don’t deserve it.  We demonstrate grace to them when they don’t deserve it.  Marriage is a covenant with God, you, and your spouse, for the rest of your life.  It is a picture of the gospel, to be lived out in front of the world.  The husband is the head of the wife, the way that Christ is the head of the Church.  Christ died to save the Church, His bride.  The wife is the representation of the Church, submitting to the Bridegroom who saved her for Himself.  So love one another sacrificially, and stop all of this selfish carnal nonsense.  Obey God and glorify Him in your marriage.

I Finally Watched the Movie, “Fireproof 2” Woops, I Meant, “War Room” and I’m Left Wondering, What Was all the Fuss About?

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I know this is old news, so I won’t spend a bunch of time on this. I finally got around to watching the movie, “War Room.” It really did make me think that I liked it better when it was called, “Fireproof.” So many people were telling me how great it was and still others were voicing concerns. I didn’t want to waste my money on a bad movie so I waited for it to go to rental. I watched it mostly by myself. My Wife and Daughter would watch here and there. As I was watching it I became aware of a couple of scenes with really bad theology. However, I kind of expected it from Christian movies these days.
There was a scene where the main character is fed up with her life and prays out loud to the devil and then commands him to leave her house and go to Hell, in the name of Jesus. First, don’t pray to the devil, don’t talk with the devil, and don’t rebuke the devil. Even the angels say, “The Lord rebuke you.” Second, the devil doesn’t live in hell and he is not from hell. He is on the Earth and won’t be in Hell until he is sent there by God.
The other scene that was laughable was when a mugger confronted the older lady and the younger lady and attempted to rob them at knife point. The older lady commanded the thug to drop his knife in the name of Jesus… and guess what… He did. I had to laugh, but it also made me a bit angry. What if someone actually tried that? Disregard all of the Pentecostal mythology surrounding this type of thing. Honestly, it is not the way to handle that situation. Let’s see… Did it help the early Church Fathers when they were being martyred? Did it stop the Romans from using Christians as torches to light the streets? Does it help the Christians being martyred by the Muslims today?
The biggest problem I had with the movie is one that my 15 year old Daughter picked up on just from watching a little bit of the movie. She said something to the effect of, “Is this one of those Christian movies where everyone gets saved and their problems all go away?” The sad thing is that she was correct. This movie forwarded the, “life enhancement gospel.” This is a false gospel that goes like this, “Become a Christian, and God will make your life better.” This can be very damaging to immature Christians. This movie would have been so much better if the husband would have went to prison after repenting. The husband ends up repenting. He then takes responsibility for getting fired from his job as a pharmaceutical sales representative. He also admits to his bosses about stealing pharmaceuticals from the company. One of the bosses wants to have him prosecuted. Of course, because he comes clean and gives back what he stole they forgive him and then he gets a great new job closer to home. God makes everything better and life is peachy keen again…
What if he would have done all of the good things like repenting, returning what he stole, and he still ended up going to prison? They could have shown her praying for him and waiting for him to get out. They could have showed him accepting the difficult things as part of God’s will. If a person decides to become Christian for a better life, they are missing the point. We should become Christians because we sorrow over our sins and love Christ for His sacrificial work on the cross to atone for our sins.

Todd Friel’s, “Judge Not” is an Ambitious Book that Attempts to Assess the Maladies of the Modern Church in America.

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It is a daunting undertaking.  One I was apprehensive about.  I was doubtful that the problems could be covered in a book that is only 320 pages long.  Overall, Todd’s book accomplishes what it was intended to do.  In an effort to promote what I deem a necessary work, I would strongly encourage all Christians to purchase and read this book.  However, I don’t want to spoil any of the, “Ah-ha!” “Amen!” or “Ouch!” moments.  This means that I won’t reveal all of my favorite quotes.  The full title of the book is, “Judge Not, How A Lack Of Discernment Led To Drunken Pastors, Peanut Butter Armpits, & The Fall Of A Nation.”  The title is no misrepresentation to act as a hook.  It is a hook, don’t get me wrong.  It is just very true and disturbing.  The astonishing authenticity of it is the hook.

 For those tens and tens of loyal listeners, Todd needs no introduction, but for the rest of the world, Todd Friel is the host of the Christian radio program, “Wretched Radio.”  He is also the host of, “Wretched TV” on NRB network.  Todd and the guys over at Wretched, put out quality programs, Biblically addressing issues and trends, that concern us as Christians.  Todd’s previous book, “Jesus Unmasked” detailed, and highlighted Christ through the entire Bible.  I was curious about his latest book, because his previous one was so good.  Even though it was a hard act to follow, he can be happy with his latest book.  It was quite different from his previous one.

We look around and wonder how we got here.  As a kid, I was raised in a home without Church.  My parents were both former Roman Catholics.  Mom is Italian.  Her family was traditionally Roman Catholic.  My Dad’s family is German, and very Roman Catholic as well.  Both of my parents deserted the religion of their families for different reasons.  My Mom left because her family deserted her, and disowned her because she was a child of mixed blood.  Her Dad was Lithuanian, NOT Italian!  My Mother was also enjoying the freedom of the 60’s.  My Father left Roman Catholicism after reading the Bible for himself.  They decided to raise us without formal religion and to allow us to figure it out for ourselves.  I grew up thinking that all of the people who went to a Church were Christians.  I had now idea how wrong I was.  Whenever I was invited to a Church for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Mormon Talks, SDA, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, or Mass, I thought they were all Christians.  I was so confused by the variances and disparities I witnessed.  From the 60’s on  to present day, Churches in America have done little to help people like me who were lost.

With chapter headings like, “Happy Clappy Church, Twisting Scripture, Messed-up Messianic Movements, and Gospel Off-centeredness” Todd takes aim at pretty much all of the problems with the modern Church in America.  Many of the things he brings forward have been concerns of mine for years.  Some of the things were new to me.  I had no idea some of those things were going on.  If you are like me and have been keenly aware that something is wrong, and perhaps you weren’t quite able to put your finger on it then this is the book for you.

Here is the Table of Contents,
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We’ve probably all been to a, “Happy Clappy” Church.  They are the ones that solely focus on God’s love.  They are generally pretty seeker sensitive and rely on entertaining the masses.  Many of us have friends or family in the Messianic movement and have concerns.  Todd echoes these concerns and talks frankly about the problems within the movement.  Todd also shines light on the New Apostolic Movement.  Very troubling things are coming out of it.  It also is being accepted as orthodox by many well meaning Christians.

This book was a quick read.  It usually takes me quite a while to read a theology book, but with Todd’s sense of humor and direct approach, I was able to read it pretty quick.  If you have read some religious books and found them to be dry or slow, you won’t have this problem here.  Todd’s writing is engaging and intelligent.  Get this book and read it.  After you are done, you’ll be able to think of at least a few people you know who will need to read it as well.  I really enjoyed it and it helped me gain some needed perspective on the state of the Church, the gospel, evangelism, and what I can do to help.  You can purchase your copy from Wretched’s store, or Amazon

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Prophecy, Human Prophets, and the end of Prophetic Revelation.

When we think about Biblical prophecy, we sometimes imagine, God telling the Old Testament prophets what is going to happen in the future, kind of like a fortune teller.  This creates problems for us later on.  When we think of prophecy in such a simplistic way we end up with false prophets starting new cults and a plethora of other problems. To understand Biblical prophecy we have to first understand some things about God.  

Understanding Biblical prophecy has to include understanding some attributes of God that you might not have considered.  Let’s start with God’s eternality.  You may have heard it mentioned before or just assumed it, but have you thought about the implications?  Since God is eternal, He will never not be.  There is not an instance where He was not.  He will be forever and He has always been.  There is no other being that is eternal like this, and that is because of the aseity of God, or His uncreated being.  Since He has always been, He has no beginning.  He is the uncaused causation of all things.  He is the original originator.  He is also omniscient, or possess the knowledge of all things.  As the Creator He knows everything about everything, and He knows what He knows perfectly and in complete truth.  God is omnipresent.  He is everywhere you can call a place and places we can’t conceive, and He is in those places in all times and He exceeds them.  God transcends our concept of space-time and dimensions.  He could be called hyper-dimensional.  He is also perfectly wise in His application of His omniscience.  We call that omnisapience.  When He applies His knowledge He does so with wisdom that is solely His.  It is beyond all creatures ability to grasp it.  When we consider these attributes apart from one another, they are interesting.  

Understanding that there are many more attributes, and they are also perfected in God, we begin to comprehend a more grand and majestic concept of God.  We can’t know God as He knows Himself, but we can know Him as He intends for us to know Him.  He gave us His word and His Holy Spirit for this end.  As fallen, sinful, finite, creatures, under the noetic effect of sin, nevertheless we can know God as He has made provision for us.  

Think about each one of those attributes for a moment, and then consider them along with His love.  He loves us perfectly, without violating any of His other attributes.  He created us in accord with His plan to show us His love, grace, mercy, longsuffering, and lovingkindness.  He created us, Himself having perfect knowledge of what that would look like.  With Heaven and Hell, sin and temptation, the fall, His incarnation, the gospel, the redeeming of His elect, their glorification, all done in accord with His perfect will, and wisdom.  

He is also communicative.  He has created us with the ability to communicate.  He has communicated some of His attributes to us in our creation.  For instance, we are made in the image of God, we are made with senses that allow us to communicate with others, and we have emotions.  Remember that our attributes are not perfect.  Simply existing as finite creatures contrasted with the infinite Creator displays the disparity of our attributes compared to His.

We know from His word that in the early times of our history, that He walked and talked with Adam in the garden.  We know that the Christophanies of the Old Testament record that the preincarnate Christ (eternal Son) appeared to people as the Angel of the Lord, or as the Word of God.  Then He used men as prophets.  Think of them more as a mouthpiece or speaker hooked to a source, rather than a person who predicts the future.  Considering that God knows everything perfectly, and that the past, present, and future are all realities that He has always known in perfect truth, and that He keeps everything working, He doesn’t reveal possible futures to His prophets, but rather tells them of the certainty of the future because it is a reality that He has already known in perfection, according to His sovereign will.  For example, think about it this way.  You have already watched a movie.  You know the entire movie.  Not only have you watched this movie, but you are also the writer, director, and producer of the movie.  Then, you tell one of the people in the theater about an upcoming scene.  You tell him to tell the rest of the audience what is coming up.  He is your prophet.  This is done with their lack of understanding of your roles in creating the movie.  Once they witness the scene your prophet told them about, they think your prophet is a mystic, or a fortune teller who can predict the future.  In their ignorance of you and your work they develope a wrong notion of who you are, and what you are about.  This is the poor concept of Biblical prophecy many people have, and it displays their ignorance of God, and His attributes.  

Realize that my analogy was very lacking, but try to understand what I am getting at.  God is not simply a being with a precognition of what the future holds.  He is the one who determined it in His perfection according to His will.  So when He says something is going to happen, it is because it is a certainty.  It has already happened in the future.  As mortal time travelers, we can only travel forward through time, at normal speed, and are subject to the created laws of the created natural world.  God transcends all.  He is not subject to time.  He created time.  He is not subject to space.  He created it as well.  He also created their relationship that Einstein referred to as, “space time.” Having perfect, complete, knowledge of the end of the world before He ever created it is one thing, but to imagine that God has that same perfect complete knowledge of every minute instance, in every individual life, and every particle floating on the wind, and their interconnected, relationships, causes and consequences from the dawn of time to the end of it, is just beyond us.  To us it looks like chaos, but it is divine order.  How can I see the effects of an individual life cut short today, 400 years from now?  I can’t.  God in His sovereignty has it all under control.  

God’s word, is what upholds all creation.  He spoke that creation into existence by His word.  He spoke to the prophets.  He calls the Bible His word.  It is His mind for us to know Him.  Jesus is called the Word made flesh.  There is an interconnected relationship between God and the certain reality of His word.  He speaks things into existence.  Just read Genesis for all of the, “He said, and there was” statements.  Consider that God in His perfect foreknowledge of our futures tells a chosen man, “Thus sayeth the Lord” and then that man relays God’s word to the people, for it to be known to them, according to His purposes.  It is amazing, and since we know God is good, we can trust in Him.  

Prophets are not the normative.  In the Bible there were big gaps in time between prophets.  There were not a bunch of true prophets operating all simultaneously.  We don’t read that.  We know there were many false prophets working simultaneously.  We also know that they would work directly against God’s true and chosen prophets.   There is even a test for prophets in Deuteronomy 13 along with a punishment for false prophets.  

Prophets weren’t prognosticating future events.  They were exceptions to the rule.  They were relaying what God had told them of the reality of things He had determined in the future.  To the people it looked like telling the future, but remember my analogy of the movie.  When they relayed the word of God it was specific and exact.  Events played out just like they were revealed.  Not like people claiming to be modern prophets, like Joseph Smith or Muhammad.  Their prophecies are riddled with inaccuracies.  Most of their prophecies failed to happen at all.  Their prophecies were used for their own licentious purposes more often than not.  We see that in so called modern day, “prophets” all the time.  We can all remember the time televangelist Oral Roberts claimed that god told him if he didn’t raise 8 million dollars He (God) was going to, “call him home.”  Then there is Beth Moore who claims that God told her to write down what He is telling her and then for her to speak it as often as she is able.  You can see that false prophets cause all kinds of trouble, from starting new religions, spreading a false gospel like the prosperity gospel, to claiming extra-biblical personal revelation, which is the bread and butter of a false prophet.

Have you ever wondered why people claiming to be prophets now don’t stand up to the record of Old testament prophets, and why they don’t have the accuracy of a person speaking the reality of the word of God?  There is a very good reason as to why they aren’t true prophets.  That reason is Jesus is the culmination of Prophecy and the Prophet above all prophets.

When He finally entered into His creation, at the advent of His incarnation, He exemplified the perfect execution of the office of Prophet.  He fulfilled it.  The Word of God, who is God, the Word that became flesh, God of all creation, came into His creation and spoke His words to His creatures.  There were people at the time who hated Him, and people who left their lives to follow Him, but they were all astonished who listened to Him.  Why is that?  The scripture says it is because He spoke as one who had authority.  Think about that.  You go to the synagogue or temple and listen to the scribes and pharisees teachings.  Almost all of them disagree with each other on various topics.  It makes you wonder who is right?  What should I believe?  Then, comes this man Jesus who speaks as if He is explaining His own words He spoke to you earlier.  He doesn’t have to consider what the scriptures could mean.  He doesn’t have to wonder at the intent of the author.  He is the author.  He knows what He was saying and what He wanted to communicate.  As the authority of His very own words, He spoke as a man speaking the words of God.  He was the culmination of all the prophets and inaugurated the end of prophecy in the sense of explaining what would happen.  

We have the completion of the progressive revelation of scripture in the form of the Bible.  The canon of scripture is closed.  All of the word of God that He intends for us to have has been given to us and compiled in one volume.  All of the papyri, scrolls, and codices, we call scripture have been gathered together in the Bible.  When a prophet speaks the word of God now, he speaks what is written in the Bible.  There is no more telling of future events, unless it is from the Bible.  There are no more new commandments, all are recorded in the Bible.  There are no new teachings.  There are no new scriptures to add.  Everything God had to say to us is in the Bible.  The office of prophet is simply the accurate and truthful preaching of the word, from the Bible.

[Hebrews 1:1 NASB]
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
[Hebrews 1:2 NASB]
in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
[Hebrews 1:3 NASB]
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
[Matthew 7:28 NASB]
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;
[Matthew 7:29 NASB]
for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
[Mark 1:21 NASB]
They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.
[Mark 1:22 NASB]
They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
[Luke 4:31 NASB]
And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath;
[Luke 4:32 NASB]
and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.
[John 1:1 NASB]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[John 1:2 NASB]
He was in the beginning with God.
[John 1:3 NASB]
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
[John 1:14 NASB]
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.