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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Old Testament prophets were primarily forth tellers rather than foretellers.

They communicated the message of God to the needs of the day.

“Listen to the Major messages of the Minor Prophets’ is the title of the series we will be working through for the next few weeks.

Today we are talking about What Type of Man Is the Prophet?


Jeremiah 1:4-5 NKJV

The Prophet Is Called

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Scripture Reading

Jeremiah 1:4-10 NKJV

The Prophet Is Called

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then said I:

“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

7 But the Lord said to me:

“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”


In Jesus name we pray.



In the long struggle of the Hebrews to be a people pleasing to God, the prophets, for most part, appeared in times of crisis as models of what God wanted His people to be.

As God’s spokesmen for many centuries, they sounded warnings and gave direction to their nation.

In our Bible we have sixteen books that record the words and deeds of the “writing prophets.”

Other great prophets in Israel were “non writing prophets” they did not write prophetic books.

The greatest of these were Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha.

1 and 2 Samuel aren’t really prophetic books they are principally concerned with the origin and early history of the monarchy of ancient Israel.

Upon the sole basis of length, the books bearing the names of the writing prophets are classified and major and minor, with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel called Major Prophets and the other twelve being called Minor Prophets.

The term minor is however unfortunate, because there is nothing minor about them.

The twelve together cover the whole range of prophecy and illustrate its development from the eighth to the fourth century BC.

For the next twelve Tuesday evenings, we will look at these twelve prophets, so tonight we look st the question, What Type of Man Is the Prophet?

We will look at it from two points of view.

  1. First, what a prophet is not.

A prophet is not a microphone through which God speaks, bypassing the prophets mind, will, emotions, character, and convictions.

Inspiration is not merely mechanical.

Revelation does not take place in a vacuum, ignoring the context of history in which the prophet lives and serves.

A prophet is not a superhuman being.

He does not have near supernatural powers.

The prophet is unique but still human.

Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel were indeed human beings with certain faults and frailties despite their unquestioned greatness.

James said of the one considered by most Hebrews in Jesus’ day to be the greatest of the prophets in James 5:17, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours,

Thank God for that word.

A prophet is not a wind bag.

Jeremiah said about certain pretenders among the ranks of prophets in Jeremiah 5:13, And the prophets become wind, For the word is not in them.

There are many varieties of windbags.

For some the emptiness of their prophecy does not come from the betrayal of their faith, instead, it comes from their failure to have any faith worth proclaiming.

Often people who might have been prophets, or even had been prophets, become windbags just through the process of taking on administrative responsibilities.

This is one of the perils of an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

Forced to talk unceasingly and feeling the necessity of prophetic utterance on all occasions, they fall back on wind.

Wind is easier and safer than ideas.

Sometimes, on a far lower scale, morally, false prophets become more echoes of their employers’ ideas and desires.

This is the bottom rung on the ladder.

Isaiah charged that the people of his day did not desire true prophets, but windbags.

They requested in Isaiah 30:10, Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.

Let every minister ask themselves, Am I God’s prophet, or am I a windbag?

A prophet is not a wolf in sheep clothing.

Jesus warned us against this masquerading as prophets, part of God’s flock, when inwardly they are ferocious wolves, they are enemies within the Christian community.

The so many pretenders are predicting peace and prosperity, offering cheerful words, adding strength to self reliance, and bolstering human pride, the true prophet may be called on to predict disaster, agony, pestilence, and destruction.

Thus a prophet’s life is often uncomfortable. 

2. Second, look at what a prophet is.

A prophet is one who God has called and commissioned.

God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

In recounting his call Amos said in Amos 7:15, Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock,
And the Lord said to me,
‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’

We do not have a record of the call of all the prophets, but of those we do have, no two are the same.

A prophet is a distinctive individual endowed with a mission and empowered with a word not his own.

His divine commission is his authority.

A prophet is a preacher.

He is not primarily a foreteller, but a forth teller.

Although sometimes used by God to foretell impending catastrophes or to promise future blessings and reward, this is only part of his work.

The prophet is God’s spokesman.

He is a preacher whose purpose is not self gratification or self expression, but communication.

His message burns like fire.

It assaults the mind and sears the spirit.

Prophesy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaning riches of the world.

It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and man, God is raging in the prophet’s words.

The prophet’s message differs sharply from th fortune tellers of the worldly gods.

The pagan gods who would let enemies destroy their shrine or conquer those who worship them.

Israel’s prophets proclaimed that the enemy may be God’s instrument in history.

For example, the God of Israel referred to the archenemies of His people as “the Assyrian, the rod of my anger”, Nebuchadnezzar, “the king of Babylon, my servant”, and the Chaldeans, “that bitter and hasty nation” who He would “raise up”.

Instead of cursing the enemy, the prophets condemned their own nation.

A prophet is a mediator.

He is not only an accuser and corrector but also a defender and consoler.

In the presence of God, he takes the part of the people.

Moses pleaded with God in Exodus 32:31-32, Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

In response to the vision of locusts, Amos said to God, “O Lord God, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, For he is small!”

But in the presence of the people, he took the part of God. 

From this point of view, it is the main vocation of a prophet “to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin”, to let the people know “that it is an evil thing and bitter” to forsake the Lord, and to call on them to return.

A prophet is often the object of scorn and reproach.

To be a prophet means to challenge and to defy the defenders of the status quo, the powers that be, and to cast out fear.

The prophet is a lonely man.

He alienates the wicked as well as the good, the judges and the false prophets, the priests and the princes, the cynics as well as the believers.

He may count on being treated like Hosea was in Hosea 9:7, The prophet is a fool, The spiritual man is insane, Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.

They said of Jesus, “He is beside himself”.

Paul’s accusers said, “Paul, thou are mad.”

Let God’s prophets take courage, it is a badge of honour to be a fool for Christ’s sake.

A prophet is the conscience of his nation.

His life is not futile.

Though the people may remain deaf to the prophet’s admonitions, they cannot ignore his existence, nor can they forget his words.

The prophet’s duty is to speak God’s word to the people, whether they hear or refuse to hear.

Zedekiah, Judah’s last king, had not treated. Jeremiah with kindness and the respect he deserved.

Yet God’s message through His prophet had lodged in his heart to challenge his conscience.

When the city was surrounded, the fighting men discouraged and exhausted, and the food almost gone, Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah secretly to ask, “is there any word from the Lord?”

Centuries later, when God himself walked the earth in the person of His Son, some of God’s own people thought Him to be Jeremiah.

This prophet’s mark on a nation’s conscience had survived fr centuries. 


No sermon series could be more relevant or fascinating at the moment that one on the Hebrew prophets.

As people thought in the eighth through to the fourth centuries BC, so they think now, not much has changed.

Yesterday’s prophets are still for today’s world. 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings.

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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