Announced God’s Messages

 

Those who teach children should read study #36 for children.

 

Prayer “Dear Lord, help me and my flock to learn about you and your plans for us from the prophets who announced the coming of your Messiah, Jesus.”

 

1.    Prepare to teach the Old Testament prophetic books

 

 

The shaded area on the chart above shows the years during which the prophets wrote between, about 835 and 400 BC.

Find in Isaiah 6:1-8:

·         a prophet’s response to seeing a vision of God (verses 1-5),

·         how God reassured him (verses 7 & 6) and,

·         what Isaiah offered to do (verse 8).

Definitions

Prophet. In Old Testament times, God often sent messages to his people, Israel, through ‘holy men’ whom the Holy Spirit inspired. 2 Peter 1:21

Prophecy. God’s prophets called His people to turn from sin and obey Him; explained why people suffered, offered hope and comfort to believers, predicted judgment and promised a King who would rule with perfect justice, whom they called Messiah.

Prediction. God’s prophets sometimes told about things that had not yet happened. They made four kinds of predictions: (1) some things came to pass in their own life time; (2) some things happened soon after they died; (3) other things that happened 100s of years later; (4) some things have not yet happened. Isaiah 42:8‑9.

True prophets. All true prophets were Hebrews, that is Jews, and they spoke only for the LORD, never for other gods. When true prophets predicted things to come, those things came. Some spoke to the northern kingdom, called Israel, others to the southern kingdom, called Judah, and a few, like Jonah, to other nations. Deuteronomy 18:17-21.

False prophets. False prophets spoke for gods other than the LORD, and tried to lead people to worship other gods and to violate the LORD’s laws. Deuteronomy 13:1-4.

Brief Summary of Old Testament Prophetic Books

Moses and 17 other prophets wrote the books that became the Old Testament of the Bible. The dates listed below tell how many years they spoke before Messiah Jesus came.

835 (years before Christ). Joel predicted a locust invasion in Judea, calling people to repent. Find in Acts 2:16-21 how Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32.

783-753 years. Jonah called pagan Nineveh to repentance. Find in Matthew 12:40-41 how Jesus cited Jonah 1:17.

760-750. Amos announced Israel’s destruction and future hope. Find in Acts 15:13-19 how James quoted Amos 9:11 & 12.

755-710. Hosea illustrated Israel’s unfaithfulness and future redemption. Find in Romans 9:22-26 how Paul quoted Hosea 2:23.

740–680. Isaiah called Judah to trust in the LORD for salvation and to await the Messiah. Find in Acts 9:30-35 how Philip explained Isaiah 53:7 & 8 to an Ethiopian official.

739-686. Micah warned Judah and Israel of coming judgment and offered them hope. Find in Matthew 10:35-39 how Jesus quoted Micah 7:6.

664-612 Nahum announced judgment and good news to Judah and to Nineveh. Find in Romans 10:15 how Paul used Nahum 1:15.

640-628. Zephaniah announced to Judah a great day of divine judgment, calling people to speak truth. Find in Revelation 14:5 how John used the words of Zephaniah 3:13.

626–580. Jeremiah warned Judah of their coming captivity, urging them to submit to their enemies, promising a New Covenant. Find in Hebrews 8:7-13 how the New Covenant was predicted by Jeremiah 31:31-34.

609-597. Habakkuk announced judgment against Judah and Nineveh, calling people to faith. Find in Galatians 3:11 how Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4.

605-530. Daniel recounted visions about pagan nations and a future resurrection of believers. Find in Luke 21:25-28 how Jesus spoke of his future return citing Daniel 7:13.

587-565. Ezekiel recounted visions of Judah’s return to their land, and described plans for building their temple again. Find in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 how Paul quoted Ezekiel 20:34, 41 and 37:27.

586–584. Lamentations described a coming destruction of Jerusalem. Find in Mark 15:29-30 how the words of Lamentations 2:15 applied to Jesus on the cross.

586. Obadiah announced judgment against Edom and predicted Israel’s victory. Find in Revelation 11:15 the final fulfilment of Obadiah 1:21.

520-519. Zechariah foretold many details about the future King whom they called Messiah. Find in Matthew 21:4-6 how Jesus fulfilled Zechariah 9:9.

520. Haggai urged Judah to build again their temple, promising future blessings. Find in Hebrews 12:26-29 how Haggai 2:6 will be fulfilled.

430-400. Malachi was the final writing prophet. Find in Matthew 11:10-11 how Jesus applied Malachi 3:1 to John the baptiser.

New Testament Prophets. God gives to every Christian congregation, “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” Ephesians 4:11. Christian prophets do not write new Scripture, but they do sometimes predict ways that Christians can help others (Acts 11:27-30). Anyone who prophesies speaks to others to edify, exhort and console them. (1 Corinthians 14:3). All Christians can prophecy to each other (1 Corinthians. 14:24)

2.    Plan with your co-workers the coming weeks activities

Ask believers who like to study the Bible, to read one of the prophetic books. Tell them some information about the prophet from Part 1, above. Later, let them tell to the other believers the main points and big idea they found in the book that they read.

If the local religion has a prophet, then you can tell non-Christians that you have the books that the earliest prophets wrote. If they are interested, then tell them where they can obtain a Bible.

3.    Plan with your co-workers the up-coming worship.

Read or act out what you found about how God sent the prophet Isaiah (above).

Let believers tell how God has blessed them through the study of a prophetic book from the Bible.

Explain the background and definitions of prophecy, from Part 1, above.

Briefly review the main topics of the prophetic books.

Let the children present to the adults what they have prepared.

To introduce the Lord’ Supper read Isaiah 53:5 and explain that the ancient prophets foretold Jesus’ blood sacrifice.

Form groups of three or four persons, to discuss how prophecy has been fulfilled, and to pray for one another.

Memorise together Acts 26:22.

 

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