THE FIRST MESSENGER OF GOD PROPHESIED WITH A SPECIFIC PURPOSE WAS THE MESSIAH, THE LAST ONE PROPHESIED WAS JOHN THE BAPTIST
The theme of this article is one evangelical truth that has been overlooked by most of Christianity. Granting that many understood The Savior Yeshua to be the first prophesied Entity, however, they definitely failed to understand how the last human messenger of God prophesied by the prophets was John the Baptist. Thus, in the entire history of Christianity numerous individuals have laid claims on many scriptural prophecies each claiming to be the prophesied entity supposedly prophesied to do a specific work for God on behalf of His Son. And so, the majority of Christianity has become a cult that follows one or more self-proclaimed prophetical claimants.
One church founder who laid claims on multiple prophecies is the late Felix Y. Manalo who established the Iglesia Ni Cristo (1914) in the Philippines. One of his many claims is that of being the Elijah in the prophecies who was sent before the coming of The Savior. Is there any possibility that his claim could ever be true?
The aim of this study is to identify, based on the testimony of The Lord, who was the last prophesied messenger or servant of God with a specific mission so that no one else will fall prey to the false claims of many others however believable their claims may seem.
GOD’S FIRST PROPHECY
Recorded in the book of Genesis is the first prophecy of God that referred to an Entity with a specific purpose:
Genesis 3:15 (NKJV unless noted)
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
The Seed prophesied since the beginning of man’s existence is none other than The Savior Yeshua, The Son of God. What is His specific purpose in the prophecy? To serve as God’s enmity between the serpent and his seed.
Why then do we not point to the Woman as the first prophesied Entity? Simply because the Woman is not a literal human being but rather a reference of Her who bore God’s Son during His Spiritual Birth. The Woman points to God’s Word or Truth who sourced God’s Son when God decreed for His Word that is also everlasting to become His Son - the day when God had begotten Him (Ps. 2:7 / Mic. 5:2).
THE MESSIAH’S PROPHETICAL REFERENCE
Since the prophetical reference of God’s Son as The Seed, how else was He referred to among the many prophets of God?
18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
Son of God
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given
Israel (Jacob) God's Chosen Servant
8 “But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
(See also Hos. 11:1 / Mat. 2:13-15 / Ps. 24:3-6)
Angel or Messenger of God
9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old.
(See also Jn. 14:8-9)
Word of God
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
(See also Jn. 1:1 / Rev. 19:13)
Son of Man or Prophet
17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
(See also Mat. 16:13-17)
Messiah The Prince
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
THE LAST MAN PROPHESIED FOR A SPECIFIC WORK
If The Christ Yeshua was the first One prophesied by God, who was the last one prophesied through the prophets? Why is it very important to know this evangelical fact? It is because there are numerous preachers who also laid claims to the prophecies in the book of the prophets? In fact, billions of people have believed in their misrepresentation of prophecies. If people can come to understand on who was the last entity in the prophecies of the prophets, then they can have the power to discontinue believing in the deceptive claims of these false claimants. They can no longer continue to become victims of the false claimants’ ignorance and blasphemy.
If there is one authority to introduce the last man who was made the subject of the ancient prophecies, it would be none other than The Savior himself. And because He did not want anyone to be fooled, He did just that. Whom did The Savior specifically point as the last man prophesied by the prophets of old?
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
How much more direct of a statement can it be that the law and the prophets were until John? Which did The Christ refer as the law and the prophets that ended in the person of John the Baptist?
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
The law and the prophets pinpointed by The Savior that ended in the person of John the Baptist were those written in the Law of Moses and the books of the Prophets. If so, no one else was spoken of, or made subject, by the Law of Moses and the books of the Prophets after the life and mission of John the Baptist.
How was the election of John the Baptist, by virtue of the prophets’ references, validated by The Messiah? First, let us understand how John the Baptist has been portrayed by the prophecies of the olden prophets of God:
Preparer of The Way
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me…
Spirit and Power of Elijah
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
The prophet Isaiah prophesied about the voice of one in the wilderness who will prepare the way of The Lord was fulfilled in the person and mission of John the Baptist. He knew very well his specific mission to be that of preparing the coming of The Messiah and to testify about Him being The Son of God (Jn. 1:23-34).
The prophet Malachi also prophesied about John the Baptist, even comparing him with Elijah the Prophet. The prophet was very specific on the purpose of John’s election which is to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice versa. This prophecy of Malachi was validated by none other than the Angel Gabriel when he brought the message about John the Baptist’s conception unto his father Zacharias (Lk. 1:5-25).
Above all, who validated the election of John the Baptist that were already foretold by the prophets of God?
9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
The election of John the Baptist as prophesied by the prophets was further confirmed by none other than The Christ Yeshua himself! How important is it to understand this validation of The Savior and to accept this as evangelical truth? As stated by The Lord, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Although The Savior was very definite in testifying about John the Baptist being the last person mentioned in the prophecies, however let us understand that the Last Messenger sent by God to do His work of salvation as well as of judging the world is His own Son, The Savior Yeshua. If this is the case then it would be safe to conclude that no one else was prophesied by the prophets after John the Baptist.
THE SAVIOR’S DISCIPLES OR FOLLOWERS
If John the Baptist was the last person with a specific mission to be foretold by the prophets of old, how about the disciples of The Messiah? Was there no specific mention of the prophecies about them?
Of course, there were and below are some of these prophecies about them:
10 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
16 Bind up the testimony,
Seal the law among my disciples.
Blind and Deaf Like The Lord
18 “Hear, you deaf;
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the Lord’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”
Gentile Priests and Ministers
(Isaiah 61:5-6 NIV)
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
The followers or disciples of The Savior Yeshua were already mentioned in many of the prophecies that also referred to The Messiah! And it would only be understandable as their work is not any different than the work of salvation of The Savior but a simple continuation of it. To top it off, they are already mentioned in the prophecies together with The Messiah since His genuine disciples are not expected to be different from Him but rather they are expected to be of the same mindset and paradigm as Him – that of being of pure love that is free from the condemning and judgmental outlook of the world. This is only the manner that will process them to become like their Teacher:
(Luke 6:37-38a, 40-41)
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you… 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?
FALSE CLAIMANTS TO PROPHECIES
Since The Savior’s ascension to heaven and up to the present time, there were numerous claimants of scriptural prophecies who also claimed to be the specific entity with a specific task from God. This has become a trend that has started with the claim of Paul, the self-proclaimed apostle and writer of most New Testament books from the Catholic canon of scriptures, when he claimed the specific prophecies in Isaiah 52:7 and Isaiah 49:6 to be fulfilled in him and his work. Sadly, if one studies closely those prophecies mentioned one can discern that they point to only one Entity as the fulfillment and that is none other than The Savior Yeshua, The Son of God.
Many other preachers and church founders have established exclusive claims and authority on some other scriptural prophecies. These prophecies have in fact become the foundation of the churches that they have initially started. Fact is, it would be impossible to discuss all the other preachers’ claims to the prophecies in just one article.
How was the election of John the Baptist as foretold by the prophets different from the mere claims of other preachers? The biggest difference lies in the validation process. John the Baptist’s fulfillment of the prophets’ prophecies were pinpointed by the Angel Gabriel and most especially by The Savior himself while the rest were just based on their own claims, dreams and testimony!
Here is another fact – all the other self-proclaimed claimants to the scriptural prophecies who were successful in making believers of their self-serving claims have only cultivated a cult following among people which have successfully blinded millions of people, even making them vulnerable to their own ambitions that would usually end up enriching their own pockets and elevating themselves to an icon status to be revered and served by their fellow men. Just look at Christianity in general and its many varieties of cults from within.