7. How to know if it’s true …

A Bible Study by Paula Yingst …

From the beginning of this examination of how God spoke through his servants the prophets, we need to make an important distinction — what constitutes a “prophet” who genuinely speaks for the Lord God?


You may be wondering, “How are we to know if a word has not been spoken by Adonai [the Lord God]?” When a prophet speaks in the name of Adonai, and the prediction does not come true — that is, the word is not fulfilled — then Adonai did not speak that word. The prophet who said it spoke presumptuously; you have nothing to fear from him.

(Deuteronomy 18:21-22, The Complete Jewish Bible)

Moses was the most faithful and honored of all the spokesmen for God. Here is what Adonai had to say about his beloved servant …

Listen to what I say: when there is a prophet among you, I, Adonai, make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. But it isn’t that way with my servant Moshe [Moses]. He is the only one who is faithful in my entire household. With him I speak face to face and clearly, not in riddles; he sees the image of Adonai. (Numbers 12:6-8, CJB)

David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel also spoke for the Lord God, and many of their prophecies have been proved historically accurate. Because of that, we can trust that ALL of their prophecies that depict future events will also come to pass.

However, the most important of all the prophecies documented in the Torah (or Old Testament) are those that pointed to the coming of Messiah, the man who would take upon himself the sins of mankind.  Hear the words of God’s servant Isaiah …

Who believes our report?

To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?
For before him he grew up like a young plant,
like a root out of dry ground.
He was not well-formed or especially handsome;
we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.

People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well acquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces,
he was despised; we did not value him.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.

But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises [wounds] we are healed.

We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.

Though mistreated, he was submissive —
he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to be slaughtered,
like a sheep silent before its shearers,
he did not open his mouth.

After forcible arrest and sentencing,
he was taken away;
and none of his generation protested
his being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of my people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.

He was given a grave among the wicked;
in his death he was with a rich man.

Although he had done no violence
and had said nothing deceptive,
yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness,
to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring;
and he will prolong his days;
and at his hand Adonai’s desire
will be accomplished.

After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.

By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.

Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many
and interceding for the offenders.”

(Isaiah 53, CJB)

While many Bible prophecies can seem like mysterious codes and riddles, the words of Isaiah give specific facts to watch for when trying to determine the identity of Messiah, the Savior … the Son of God.

As we continue our journey to the cross, watch carefully and decide for yourself if Jesus/Yeshua is the One who was foretold and miraculously sent by Adonai, our Father God, to buy back our souls, forfeited by Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) to the “landlord”/prince of this earth — Satan (John 12:30-32).


SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Many men and women have spoken on behalf of God. Some in truth … others presumptuously. Moses said we should examine the claims of individuals to see if their statements have come to pass as they foretold. If not, you can be sure that they do not  speak for Adonai, the Lord God of heaven. (This would include the “prophets” Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, and Muhammed.)

Do you believe it?