Beliefs and Practices of Christians

DO YOU BELIEVE IN PROPHETS AND ANGELS?

Now, my friend, I want to answer the question you asked about the belief of Christians concerning the prophets. Yes, Christians believe that God sent prophets to speak His Word to men. Because of their sins most men did not want to hear God's voice, or else because of their spiritual deafness were unable to do so. However, there were some men and women who repented and were forgiven by God. God spoke to them and appointed them to speak His message to others. Thus they became prophets of God.

Our knowledge of the prophets comes from the Holy Bible, which contains accounts of the lives and words and writings of a number of those chosen by God to be His messengers to me. Here are the names of a few of the prophets mentioned in the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Aaron (brother of Moses). Miriam (sister of Moses). Nathan, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Joel, Daniel, and John the Baptist, who was the last of the prophets before the coming of Jesus Christ. Abraham, who is called the Friend of God and the Father of Believers, was chosen by God to be the he father of many peoples. He, in his old age, was given a son, named Isaac, from his wife Sarah. Abraham, in obedience to God's command, was ready to sacrifice Isaac when God provided a ram for the sacrifice in Isaac's place. Then God promised Abraham that from Isaac's descendants salvation and blessing would come to the world, and this promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. After Jesus came other prophets, such as John and Peter and Paul, who spoke God's word to men and taught them to believe in Jesus Christ. It is our belief that they were the last of God's prophets. However, in a broader sense, anyone who speaks God's message truly to men might be called a prophet.

Since the belief of Christians regarding the prophets differs in some respects from the belief of people of other religions, I want to state clearly several important truths:

1. The number of the prophets is not known, nor do we know the names of most  of them.

2. All the prophets, as far as we know, were from the descendants of Abraham the Friend of God and his son Isaac.

3. The prophets were sent by God during a period of about 2,000 years.

4. The prophets were sent chiefly to the people of Israel, whom God had chosen to be His special people, in order that from them the truth of God might be made known to all the people of the world.

5. The prophets were not sinless, but were believers whose sins had been forgiven.

6. The prophets came from different classes of society, some being rich, some poor, some with much learning, some with little education, some were old, and some were young.

7. Some of the prophets like Elijah and John the Baptist wrote no book, while others like Moses, David, Isaiah, John, and Paul, put god's message into writing for late generations to read.

8. God's Word came to the prophets in various ways. Some heard God's voice,some received the message through angels, others saw visions and dreams, and no doubt still others received the message in their minds and hearts. However, all were sure that God had spoken to them, and were able to say with confidence of men, "Thus says the Lord.".

9. To some of the prophets was given the power to perform miracles which proved the truth of their message, such as Moses and Elisha and Peter. Others, like John the Baptist, performed no miracles.

PROPHETS

The prophets who came before Jesus Christ told the people who God was and what He required of them, and warned them of God's anger if they disobeyed Him. They  also assured them of His forgiveness and blessing if they should forsake their sins and   return to God. Through Moses, the only one of the prophets who was a law-giver,   God gave many laws to the people of Israel. The prophets who came after him urged the people to obey the laws which God had given through Moses. But since men were sinners it was impossible for them to obey, perfectly, God's Holy laws. Hence, the law was not able to save them but, like a mirror, it showed them their sinfulness and made them realize how much they needed a Savior.

One of the most important things that the prophets did was to tell the people that God was going to send them the Savior, whom they needed. When I tell you about Jesus Christ I will mention some of the wonderful promises which are found in the books of  the ancient prophets.

ANGELS

In the Holy Bible there are many references to beings, other than men, who werecreated by God and usually called angels. They are God's messengers, and were often sent by God to make His will known to prophets and other  believers. Angels appeared in human form to Abraham, Moses and others. The names of only two of God's angels are given in the Holy Bible, Michael and Gabriel. It was Gabriel who informed Mary that she would have a son named Jesus.

ANGELS - SATAN

In addition to the holy angels who are obedient to God, we are told in the Holy Bible that there are other spiritual beings who are disobedient and are enemies of God, the   chief of whom is called Satan or the Devil. Many Christians think that Satan was created good, but because of pride disobeyed God. As a result, he and the spirits   who followed him fell from their high and holy position in heaven. They are now doing  all they can to destroy God's work on earth. It was Satan who deceived Eve in the  Garden of Eden, and ever since then he has been trying to turn people away from God. He even tried to persuade Jesus Christ to disobey God, but he failed. Satan has great power, but he is not equal to God, and he is under God's control.  Christians do not need to fear him or his evil spirits that injure so many people in body and soul. In the strength which Christ gives us we are able to resist and repel him. God will finally cast the Devil out of the earth into eternal fire.