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 Sermon on

Modern Prophets and Visions

By Brian Pepper

There are so many people today, who are confused, Perplexed and bewildered. The enemy of God has caused widespread religious confusion. Serious men and women are looking for some safe guide.  Just like that earnest Christian woman who went from one church to another, seeking for the one that she felt would give her the 'truth'. There are so many who come and say, "We have been looking for truth; we have been praying for the truth. We have been turning from this church to that church."

If you were about to cross a bridge you would want to be sure that it would not break and let you down. And so it is with most people, they want to be sure before starting out on a religious course that it will not let them down, but that it will carry them through to the kingdom.
 

Jesus gave gifts unto men

When Jesus left this world, he gave something special to mankind. Now what were these gifts?  Ephesians 4:8 says, Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."

You notice the Saviour gave gifts to men. Verse 11 says, "And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers."
 

Why Jesus gave these gifts to the church

And why were these gifts given to the church? Verse 12 says, "For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

Maybe you are wondering how long will these gifts remain in the Church. Notice in verse 13 it says, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

And what will be the result? Verse 14 says, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleigh of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

There you have the answer. Men and women confused, perplexed and searching for light will discover in these gifts, the confidence that God is guiding them. God has promised to do something special to the church to make available a gift to establish men and women so that they no longer need to be tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine.

 

Spiritual gifts

Now is that not the most wonderful and satisfying promise that could be repeated by human lips? But, you ask, "What did God have in mind when he said he would give us these various gifts?" I turn now to 1 Corinthians 12 and we will read verse 1, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant."

This Chapter is dealing with spiritual gifts. God does not want us to be ignorant about these gifts. He wants us to understand them, to be familiar with them.

There are several verses that I would like you to notice.

Verse 4 says,
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit."

Verse 8 says,
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit."

Verse 15 says, "If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body: is it therefore not of the body?"

Verse 17 says, "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? Where were the smelling?"


Church compared to the human body

The apostle Paul is getting extremely practical here. As an illustration to drive home a tremendous truth, he compares the church of the living God to the human body.

Now I have two hands, two feet and two ears; but God gave me only one mouth and one nose. He thought that would be sufficient. But listen, never once have I found my foot trying to do the work of my hand. All the members of my body work together in perfect harmony. If I should lose one of these members, the entire body would suffer.

In this way God illustrated the work of the church. He gave certain gifts, talents, spiritual powers, and these can be compared with the hand, the eye and the mouth.

Now we are ready to read verses 27-31, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular, And God hath set some in the Church first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets?, are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way."


Order of the gifts

Did you notice the order in which these are given? First apostles, secondly prophets, then teachers, and after that miracles.

God did not place miracles first, for fear that some would be so carried away with this unusual gift that they would lose sight of Jesus. Farther down the list He adds the gifts of healing.

It is the right for the church to ask for this gift, and although God does not always heal in just the way we request, never is a sincere soul turned away without a blessing.

There is a little word called "helps". What a blessing to the church of Christ are the ones designated as "helps". The ones who keep the church nice and tidy. The ones who see a need and do something about it.
 

Gift of prophecy compared to the eyes

Now I notice that God says that prophecy is essential to the church. Suppose for the sake of illustration, I should compare the mouth with the gift of evangelism, and suppose that apostleship could be best compared with the heart. What part of the body do you think would best represent the gift of prophecy? What would you suggest? 'The eyes' someone suggests. 'The ears', yes thank you. What else? 'The mind'.

I would like you to give a Bible text, which will answer this question. 1 Samuel 9:9 says, "Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer."

There you have it, a Bible answer to your question. The gift of prophecy has always been compared to the eyes, or the sight, or the vision of the church. Now I would like to ask you this question, what is the condition of the man who does not have any eyesight? He is blind. And friends, that is just the condition of the church that does not have the gift of prophecy. Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

People say, "Why have I not been able to see the Sabbath truth before? Why did I not see these other things before? Why did I not see these things before?" The Bible says, where there is no vision the people perish.
 

Women called to prophetic office

God has often called both men and women to be prophets down through the years. When he could not find a man to do the job, he asked that a women do it.

Now there are those who are opposed to any religion where a women takes a leading part. They quote: "Let the women learn in silence and with all subjection." But one of the best answers to this objection is that God called nine women to the prophetic office. Just think of that, nine of them. There was Deborah, there was Miriam, Huldah, and the four daughters of Philip.  Also Anna, who blessed the baby Jesus, and there were others whom God used.
 

Does the gift of prophecy continue after Bible times?

Some have asked, "Does the gift of prophecy still go on after the writing of the Bible was completed?"  Why it certainly does. There have been prophets all along the way, even through the writings of these prophets were never included in the Holy Scriptures.

Acts 11:27,28 says, "And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Aqabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."

Now here is a prophet whom God used to warn the apostle Paul, but how many of you have the Book of Agabus in your bible? Will you raise your hand?

No, no one has the book of Agabus in his Bible. Well here was a prophet whose writings did not get within the pages of this Book.  And there is mention of more of them. But you say, that was a long time ago, what about today? Acts 2:17,18 says, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:"

When is this to take place? In the last days. There will be the gift of prophecy in a special manner.
 

If false prophets then there must be genuine prophets

In fact one of the most conclusive evidences that God expects the true gift of prophecy to be operating in the last days is the fact that he warned against false prophets in the last days. Matthew 7:15 says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Now I ask you, how can there be a false prophet if there were not a genuine prophet? Have you ever seen a counterfeit $3 note? No, of course not! Why? Because genuine $3 notes are not made. People do not go to the trouble or risk of counterfeiting that which is not genuine. The very fact that Jesus warns us against false prophets in the last days is an indication that true ones will be operating.


Two characteristics of the true church

All right now we are ready for Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

The Devil is angry with the true church in the last days. Why? Because they have two distinguishing features which he does not like. One is that they keep the commandments of God, and the other is that they have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now what is the testimony of Jesus Christ? If we turn to Revelation 19:10 we will find the answer,
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus Christ: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

God has given us two outstanding marks for the true church of the last days. They are to be keeping all the commandments of God and they are to have something special, that is the gift of prophecy.

There are religious groups, which from the Scriptures have learned that the gift of prophecy is to be operating in the last days. Out in the desert at Salt Lake City there is a great organisation which believes it has the gift of prophecy. But they are not keeping the commandments of God. The Sabbath for one is violated. They are good people, they are earnest people, but the Bible calls for the keeping of the commandments as well as the true gift of prophecy. The two must go hand in hand.
 

A latter day prophecy misunderstood

Round about the year 1844 there was a great religious revival.  This revival began among Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and many other Christian people. Over two hundred (200) Church of England preachers began to thunder from their pulpits the message of a soon coming Saviour.

Bible students in different countries had been studying the 2300 days prophecy and they came to the conclusion that the return of Christ was at hand. Unfortunately they had made a mistake for where it said, "the Sanctuary should be cleansed", they thought that this meant that Christ was coming to cleanse the Earth. There was a terrible disappointment when the time when they expected Christ, came and went without anything happening.
 

Men who rejected the call to prophetic office

Godís people were somewhat discouraged, however God had a message for them. He called a young man, a Baptist preacher by the name of William Foy. God gave this man a vision which was needed to carry the people through the crisis which they were passing. But he was unwilling to walk the unpopular path of a prophet, and he refused to carry the message of God. God chose another man by the name of Hazen Foss, who refused also.
 

God chose a woman prophet

The angel then said, "I will lift the burden and place it on the weakest of the weak."

Some years before, two little girls were hurrying home from school with their books under their arms. They were twin sisters. All at once they heard an angry shout from a girl behind them. Ellen turned around to see what was happening, and as she did a stone struck her on the crown of her nose. It broke her nose and she fell fainting to the ground. As result of this accident she passed through a period of serious illness, and was forced to give up schooling at the third grade. She studied at home and grew up to the age of seventeen with a limited education.

One day God spoke to her in a vision. He gave her the same messages He had given to the two men. She said she could not. But there was a difference between them. God promised to strengthen her, and He did. For over 70 years her voice and pen did not cease to warn, to instruct, to inspire, to reprove, to admonish the people of God until at the ripe age of 87 she was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan on July 24, 1915.

Shortly after those early days of inspiration and help to the people, she married James White and ever after she was affectionately known as Ellen G. White. In the vaults of the Ellen G. White publications in Washington D.C. there are 1,000 personal letters and 47,000 pages of manuscript.
 

Her writings more clearly reveal Bible truths

Now the question is what relation do these writings have to the Bible?  No informed Seventh-day Adventist ever takes the writings of Mrs Ellen G. White as part of the Bible. Her writings were to lead men and women back to the Bible, and to inspire faith in Godís Book so that men might believe and understand it fully. God did not give this gift as a substitute for the Bible study.

The great telescope at Mt Palomar with its mighty 200 inch lens is manís crowning masterpiece of astronomical genius. Now the question is this. "Does this giant telescope bring any new stars into existence." No, it merely reveals more clearly the ones that are already there.

Just so the writings of the Spirit of prophecy does not bring any new doctrines into existence but reveals more clearly the ones that are already there. If I look into a telescope I see things that cannot be seen by the unaided natural eye. Just so, through this gift which God has given, one can see wonderful things out of the Book.
 

Some of her books

As you read such books as 'Steps to Christ, Desire of the Ages and The Great Controversy' you will say, "these books are inspired." On the basis of the book 'Education' and other counsels like it, we as a people have built up an educational system comprising over 3,600 intermediate schools and 250 colleges and academies around the world.

It is a recognised fact that our schools are the only successful Co-ed in the world. Mrs Ellen G. White laid down a system of Co-ed schooling that has amazed educationists all over the world.

A leading professor of Medicine at the school of Medicine, Colombia University became very interested in the message.  He studied all the doctrines and asked for baptism. When the Spirit of Prophecy was mentioned to him, he asked if there was any book written by Mrs Ellen G. White that he could understand, something in his field of interest. Yes, the book 'Ministry of Healing' was handed to him. The book 'Ministry of Healing' contains health principles which have made Adventists unique through the years. We have 69 sanitariums and hospitals and hundreds and hundreds of health clinics all around the world. Weeks went by and one day the professor made this statement, "That woman is of God, ... for she has stated medical principles in that book far advance of her time. She has made statements which the medical profession only now is discovering true."

Time does not allow me to tell of the remarkable life of this servant of God. I can only recommend to you the reading of these wonderful books, that will draw you closer to God and to his dear Son, Jesus Christ.

 

  Sermons
The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries
 

 
  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.

 

 
  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.

 

 
  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.

 

 
 
  Testimonials
Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert @yeshuaskingdom.org (USA) ... more testimonials.

 

 
 

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