The Purpose and Program of the Prophetic Word -- By: Herman A. Hoyt

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 04:2 (Fall 1983)
Article: The Purpose and Program of the Prophetic Word
Author: Herman A. Hoyt

The Purpose and Program of the Prophetic Word

Herman A. Hoyt*

* Dr. Hoyt is the President Emeritus of Grace Theological Seminary. This article was originally a sermon delivered in seminary chapel on January 20, 1983.

The subject of this study is the purpose and program of prophecy and is suggested by three passages of Scripture. The first is recorded in Rev 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor, and power; for Thou hast created all things; and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Two others are from the book of Ephesians: Eph 1:11: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”; and Eph 3:11: “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The all-consuming purpose of God in the creation of the universe was to establish a kingdom in the earth where he could make a display of his glory in the person of his son. This public exhibition was made to creatures made in his own image and therefore capable of apprehending, appreciating, and applauding his glory.

This eternal purpose centered in Christ Jesus our Lord, who eventually entered the stream of history as the incarnate Son of God. And this eternal God, forever the image of the invisible God, was at last to be brought within the grasp of men by becoming flesh and dwelling among them (John 1:14). “Being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Heb 1:3; Col 2:3), he would lead out and unfold like a teacher all the truth about God (John 1:14).

From the beginning of creation this eternal purpose has been in the process of being realized. Historical and predictive prophecy are the record of this projected accomplishment. Historical prophecy marks out the program through the past and it also declares what is taking place in the present. Predictive prophecy points to the triumph that lies ahead.

In this study I outline briefly the entire span of God’s purpose and program, covering the scope of both historical and predictive prophecy.

God’s Glory in Eden

At the outset of creation God placed the cherubim and the infolding fire in the Garden of Eden to display his glory among men.

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