Scripture printed text: Deuteronomy 18:15-22
Deuteronomy records Moses last sermon to God’s people. Moses predicts the coming of Christ. He uses the phrase, raise up unto thee a prophet from among their brethren, like unto me. This is one of the earliest references to the coming Messiah. The term, like me gave the Israelites a glimpse of God’s plan. Although Moses was considered great in the eyes of the people, there was still one greater who would come. This not only points to the greatness of the future Messiah, but gives insight into what a prophet and leader of God’s people should be.
Moses gives some characteristics of an authentic prophet, and served as a type of Christ to God’s chosen people, Israel.
First, an authentic prophet, they are not self-appointed, but God appointed. The Lord Himself raises up such gifted people and equip them for their strategic work. Moses says that the prophet would come from the people. Jesus came from common humans stock. His earthy parents were ordinary people, His birth place was lowly and He was reared with the working class as a carpenter. Secondly, the authentic prophet is one who receives and welcomes God’s word. The prophet will function as the mouthpiece for God, just as Moses had done. The prophet must not hold back but speak all that God shall command. Moses says that the prophet would speak God’s word as God gives it to him. Having a close relationship with God comes through prayer, worship and studying His word, the bible. Thirdly, the prophet’s words would come true. A prophet is one who proclaims the truth, warns, exhorts and encourages. Because the very character of God stands behind the prophetic message and messenger. In other words, the prophets would be vested with such authority by God. The role of the people is to receive and obey God’s word spoken through His prophet. To reject the prophet’s message, represents rejection of God Himself. God will hold accountable, those who rejects His message and messenger.
Moses warns against false prophets, because the true test of a prophet is whether his words come true. Because they prophesied for their own material and personal gains. False prophet’s message would not come true and will prove to be unreliable. God promised that false prophets will be severely punished by execution, because they are self-seeking and not God send.