Christ A Prophet

“A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house,” Matthew 13:57
“And they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us,” Luke 7:16
John 4:19  “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet,” John 4:19
“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you,” Acts 3:22

It is a common and received principle among all that are truly godly, that Jesus, and the Son of the Highest, stands in a capacity of King, Priest, and Prophet to his Church, and so is to be received by all that will on good grounds receive benefit by him. Having spoken somewhat of his Kingly and Priestly office, somewhat relating to him in respect of his Prophetical office, is hinted in the particulars following.

PROPHET PARALLEL
A Prophet is a mouth to others, to speak forth what is the sense and mind of God to them: “And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh,” Exodus 7:1-2. Jesus Christ is the mouth of God, who speaks forth his mind and will unto the sons of men. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” Hebrews 1:1-2. “The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me,” John 14:24.
A Prophet speaks not of himself, but the word of God comes to him, to teach him what he shall say; “For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,” 2 Samuel 24:11. Jesus Christ speaks not of himself, (as he was man,) but the word of God came to him, to direct him what he should speak: “For I have not spoken of myself,” John 12:49. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass,”  Revelation 1:1.
A Prophet doth anoint others, and install them into office, as Samuel did Saul, and as Zadok did Solomon, 1 Samuel 10:1, 1 Kings 1:34. Jesus Christ doth anoint others, and install them into office, of whom it is said, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things,” 1 John 2:20. “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, putting me into the ministry,” 1 Timothy 1:12.
A Prophet gives direction for cleansing from uncleanness, or leprosy. “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” 2 Kings 5:13. Jesus Christ gives direction for cleansing from all uncleanness, both in respect of body and soul: “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean,” Matthew 8:3. “And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed,” Luke 17:14. “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” John 15:3. “And washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5.
A Prophet was to pray for the people, as the proper work of his place; hence Samuel saith, “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you,” 1 Samuel 12:23. Jesus Christ did eminently answer the work of a good Prophet, in praying for the people.   1. For his friends: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever,” John 14:16. (1.) That they may be kept from evil. (2.) That they may be sanctified through the truth. (3.) That they may be brought to an inseparable union, John 17:9,15,17,21. Nay, more than this,   2. He prayeth for his enemies; “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34.
A Prophet, though ever so good or great, is slighted by his own neighbors and people; he is without honour in his own country, Matthew 13:57. Jesus Christ, though he was the greatest and best of Prophets that ever was sent to the children of men, yet was he slighted by his own people, and rejected by his near neighbors: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” John 1:11. “Is not this the carpenter's son?” Matthew 13:55.
A true Prophet is ordained of God, is sent forth to do that work and business: “Before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations,” Jeremiah 1:5. Jesus Christ was ordained, and sent of God to do the work and office of a Prophet: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me,” John 12:49. “Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house,” Hebrews 3:2.
A Prophet is anointed to do and perform the work proper of his place; as it is said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet,” 1 Kings 19:16. Jesus Christ is anointed to be a Prophet, and to perform the work proper to his place; as it is said, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Hebrews 1:9. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,” Luke 4:18.
A Prophet is the leader and guide of the people, as it is said, by a Prophet, “and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt,” Exodus 18:1. Jesus Christ is the Leader or Guide of his people, called the Forerunner and Captain of our salvation. “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young,” Isaiah 40:11. “Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people,” Isaiah 55:4.
A true Prophet ought to be believed: “believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper,” 2 Chronicles 20:20. Jesus Christ ought to be believed. God commands all men to hear him, and unless they believe in him, they shall die in their sins. “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people,” Acts 3:22-23.
A Prophet bears witness to the truth: “To him give all the prophets witness,” Acts 10:43. Jesus Christ did bear witness to the truth; he witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate, and is called the “the faithful and true witness,” Revelation 3:14.
A Prophet is a man of God, a Servant of God, and knows his secrets, Jeremiah 44:4, Ezekiel 38:17, Daniel 9:6, Amos 3:7. Jesus Christ is a man of God indeed, a Servant of God, whose meat and drink it was to do his will, and one who knew all the Father’s secrets: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” John 1:18.
The Prophets of God laid a foundation for the Church to build upon, in respect of faith and doctrine: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” Ephesians 2:20. Jesus Christ hath excelled all that went before him in this respect. He was not applauded by the people only, who said he was a teacher come from God that “taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes,” Matthew 7:29. But he was commended as one fit to be heard, by God himself, and that with an audible voice from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 3:17.

This great Prophet of the Most High hath, in pursuit of his prophetical office, laid a fair foundation for the Church to build upon, in these great and most important points:

  1. He hath set forth God in the excellency of his nature and perfections. He hath told us, we are to have faith in him, to love him with all our whole soul, and with all our strength, and to worship him in spirit and in truth.
  2. He hath set forth himself as Mediator, the immediate object of faith, and to be followed in his life and doctrine: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 3:11.
  3. He hath confirmed the Holy Scriptures, as the rule of worship, directing men to them for the regulation of their hearts and lives. “Search the scriptures,” John 5:39. “He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Luke 10:26.
  4. He hath set forth the world to come, in the glory of it, as the reward of worship, telling them that there is a kingdom to be given, and, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8.
PROPHET PARALLEL
The work of a true Prophet is, to perfect the work appertaining to the Church, as well as to lay the foundation of it: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” Ephesians 4:11-12. Jesus Christ hath not only, as the Author of our faith, laid a sure foundation for us to build upon; but, as the finisher thereof, hath store of gifts and graces to bestow, which he hath promised to give down; and hath also proposed such examples and precepts touching all the particularities of our duty, which, if followed, cannot miss of perfecting, and making the Church complete. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” Matthew 5:48. Love one another. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets,” Matthew 7:12.
Prophets are to be examples to others: “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience,” James 5:10. Jesus Christ was the most perfect copy to write by, the best example to conform our lives unto, that ever our eyes beheld, or that ever appeared. 1. In his unparalleled meekness, humility, self-denial, and contempt of this world. 2. His unwearied patience under afflictions and sufferings. 3. His zeal and forwardness to do good, even to the worst of his enemies.
Prophets gave forth scripture by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for men to have recourse to at all times, for quickening, comfort, and instruction in righteousness: as it is written in the Prophets. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man,” 2 Peter 1:21. Jesus Christ hath given forth scripture by the glorious power of the Holy Ghost, which are the four Evangelists, and all the Epistles; and as to the book of the Revelation, he hath so confirmed it, that he hath made it damnation to any that shall add to it, or diminish from it, Revelation 22:18-19.
Prophets do not only expound and show what is past, and already fulfilled, but foretell and predict things to come, (which they all did more or less) as a proper part of their work. Herein Jesus Christ hath completed his work as a Prophet. He did expound to his disciples what was written in the law of Moses,  in the Prophets and in the Psalms, concerning himself. And not only so, but he foretold them things that were yet to come to pass; as the destruction of Jerusalem, and the captivity of the Jews. He did not conceal, but plainly told, that there should be a day of distress, such as had not been since they were a nation. And soon after his ascension, sent his angel to signify to his servant John, for the teaching all his churches, many things that are, and shortly should come to pass, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 1, as,
  1. The rise, reign, and ruin of the last beast.
  2. The suffering of the Church in the wilderness, during his reign.
  3. The glory, grandeur, horrid wickedness, and fearful overthrow of mystical Babylon.
  4. The going forth of the everlasting Gospel into all the world.
  5. And lastly, his own coming in glory, with the New Jerusalem, the holy angels, and all saints, to solemnize the last and dreadful judgment.
PROPHET DISPARITY
All other Prophets, besides Christ, were inspired by Christ. The Prophets searched what manner of time the Spirit of Christ was in them, 1 Peter 1:11, “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison,” 1 Peter 3:19. Jesus Christ received not the Holy Spirit by measure, but hath the fulness of the Godhead dwelling bodily in him. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Colossians 2:9
Other Prophets pointed at Christ, as the scope of their prophecies; they testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that was to follow. Jesus Christ came as the sum of their prophecies, to fulfil them, and complete what they foretold. “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,” John 1:45.
Other Prophets did but begin the holy books, that were to be the perpetual rule of faith and practice; they told us of divine things but in part. Jesus Christ did finish and complete the holy books, which are to be the perfect and complete rule of faith and practice to the end of the world. He showed plainly of he Father. He is that Prophet that all men are to hear, upon the penalty of being destroyed from amongst the people. He that hears not his voice, and believes not his Gospel, shall not see life, but perish in his sins. "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him,” Hebrews 2:3.
Other Prophets spake of God by private inspiration, and the intelligence of angels, and few of them confirmed their words by miracles. But Jesus Christ spake of the Father, as he had seen him, and conversed with him, heard his words, and was in his bosom, before he came down among us in the likeness of man, and confirmed his doctrine by many immediate and mighty miracles. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” John 1:18. “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father,” John 15:24.
Other Prophets have left their work, and are all gone: “Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?” Zechariah 1:5. “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?” Psalms 89:48. “Abraham is dead, and the prophets,” John 8:52. Jesus Christ abides in his Prophetical office still, that is of like continuance with his Kingly and Priestly office; as he abides a Priest continually, so a Prophet. He is with his Church, to lead it, and guide it, to the end of he world, as himself saith, “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” Matthew 28:20.

INFERENCES

  1. We may infer from hence, that God hath been exceeding good unto the world in sending such a Prophet, after the great abuse of others that went before; a good Prophet, a great Prophet; none like him that went before him, or should come after him: “they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us,” Matthew 1:23.
  2. This informs as also, how exceeding useful our Lord Jesus Christ, as a Prophet, is to his Church; having completed what others left undone, showing the riches, glory, and duration of the world to come; and indeed, in declaring the whole counsel of God, and bringing life and immortality to light through the Gospel.
  3. Moreover you may see the absolute necessity the Church has of such a Prophet, without whom the people would have sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and have been left to stumble upon the dark mountains.
  4. From hence we infer the infallible certainty of what he has declared, for it could not be that such a Prophet should deceive the world: “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true,”  Revelation 22:6
  5. Behold the strong and forcible obligation that is upon the world to believe his doctrine where it is preached, and to reject all doctrines that are repugnant to it.
  6. How inexcusable will all those be, who reject his Gospel and despise his ministers: “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment,” than for them. Matthew 10:15.
  7. Let the Christian Church from hence learn to hold fast what she hath received; for the truth, as it is in Jesus, had a great and faithful witness, who confirmed it by mighty miracle, and sealed it with his own blood.
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Benjamin Keech

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 1:26

I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;