Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

by Mike Ratliff

1 And six days later Jesus *brought with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.Matthew 17:1-8 (LSB) 

From what I have observed, and please correct me if I am wrong, it seems that telling a false prophet or false teacher from those who are true is not as difficult as we may think. Those who are true understand and teach the centrality of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things. It really is all about Him and His glory. On the other hand, those who are false will focus nearly all of what they preach and teach from the perspective of Man. Instead of teaching our role in the Kingdom as subjects of God, they expound things for the benefit of what is fair or what seems right to men, making excuses for fleshly indulgences and not calling it sin. They refuse to accept that the Bible teaches that sin is what separates Men from God and those who die in their sin will spend eternity in Hell. Of course these teachings echo the lie that our enemy told Eve in the Garden, “Has God really said?” Genuine Christianity is based on Christ and we learn the truth about Him and us from the prophetic Word of God. There is a huge difference between the made-up religious writings by men and those we find in the Word of God.

16 For we did not make known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, following cleverly devised myths, but being eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 And we have as more sure the prophetic word, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes by one’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever made by the will of man, but men being moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.2 Peter 1:16-21 (LSB) 

God is good. Our Lord Jesus Christ left eyewitnesses to what He said and did while on Earth. Peter tells us here that when he shares the truth with those who read what he writes and hears what he preaches, they had better pay attention and heed it. What he has written in this book as well as his first epistle (1 Peter) is God breathed. It is the Word of God. It is God centered, not man centered. It is light shining in a dark place and will result in our Lord’s light taking root and in the hearts of men at their rebirth. Peter than says that the truth from God’s Word is not the interpretation of Men. It is God spoken as the Holy Spirit guided those who wrote it. However, there have always been men who are of Satan’s seed who try to pass themselves off as prophets of God.

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words, their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.2 Peter 2:1-3 (LSB) 

I read an article today about Bishop John Shelby Spong of the Episcopalian Church in America. He is the epitome of a liberal theologian. He is calling for a new Reformation of the Church based upon the following 12 Theses:

1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.

2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.

3. The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.

4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ’s divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.

5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.

6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.

7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.

8. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.

9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.

10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.

11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

12. All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.

What is very disturbing to me is that there are people out there who actually believe this is a man of God. Of course these theses are simply the words of our enemy put in religious form for people to say, “Yeah! Now I can live any way I want!” Do you see the human orientation of this? It is as if Bishop Spong has deliberately robbed God of His glory and given it to Man. What is awaiting false prophets like this?

4 For if God did not spare angels who sinned, but cast them into the pit and delivered them to chains of darkness, being kept for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who go after the flesh in its corrupt lust and despise authority.
Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they blaspheme glorious ones, 11 whereas angels who are greater in strength and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, blaspheming where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering unrighteousness as the wages of their unrighteousness, considering it a pleasure to revel in the daytime—they are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and unceasing sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed—they are accursed children. 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16 but he received a rebuke for his own lawlessness, for a mute donkey, speaking out with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.2 Peter 2:4-16 (LSB) 

How do we tell a false prophet from a real one? His message will somehow remove God from the center of all things, rob Him of His glory and somehow make Man sovereign in some way. They may fool many people who will join them in their destruction, but God is not fooled and, if we are discerning, neither will we. Soli Deo Gloria!

One thought on “Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

  1. Great article…. They’re not only trying to re-defining God / Theology……but Man – Anthropos / Physiology too….How many genders are we up to now….! Thy Word is Truth…..


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