God’s Message to Man through the Prophets - Part 1 -- By: Charles L. Feinberg

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 05:2 (Spring 1964)
Article: God’s Message to Man through the Prophets - Part 1
Author: Charles L. Feinberg


God’s Message to Man through the Prophets - Part 1

Charles L. Feinberg

Dean and Professor of Semitics and Old Testament
Talbot Theological Seminary

The Bauman Memorial Lectures for 1964
at
Grace Theological Seminary and College

I. The Commanding Importance of the Prophetic Scriptures

The fact that for many centuries the study of eschatology suffered immeasurably from those who held and enthusiastically propagated extreme and wild notions concerning the future, should not blind our eyes to the importance of eschatology. It is a matter of common agreement between both the Church and the world that we are living in perplexing times. It is not surprising to find that, although the greatest minds of the world are engaged with the state of world affairs, they have been able to come to no final nor satisfying conclusion as to either the cause of or the cure for present conditions.

The rank and file of the world are interested only as their own lives are touched by these circumstances, and, sadly enough, many untaught Christians are to be found in this group. The latter ask: “Why worry about present conditions or future events? If we live for Christ and testify for Him here and now, He will take care of the rest.” Is it, then, merely a fancy on the part of some Christians to find out something not meant for them, when they seek to learn the things that lie ahead? We think not for several reasons.

It was the Dutch theologian van Oosterzee who succinctly wrote: “All true Theology is at the same time Teleology, which must of itself lead to Eschatology.” From a general examination of the Word of God it will be found that there are seventeen books strictly prophetic in the Old Testament, besides the many portions of eschatological import in other books. Further study will reveal that fully one quarter of the Bible is prophecy, which rightly includes all that was predictive at the time of its utterance. With such a large place given to eschatology in the Word by the Spirit, it not only deserves, but commands our faithful and prayerful study. It certainly was never in the purpose of God that such a large portion of His Word should be neglected.

But if possible, the believer of this age has more reason to be interested in prophecy and its themes than ever before, because it is one of the purposes for which Christ sent the Spirit into the world. The Scriptures reveal an eightfold ministry of the Spirit in this age. He restrains evil in the world; He is said to reprove the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; it is through His agency that regeneration is effected; He dwells in every believer who becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit by faith in Christ; it is His office work to baptize all ...

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