Friday, September 27, 2013

The Essence of Prophecy

Originally published on Friday, June 23, 2006

The Essence of Prophecy

Victoria went to the store to buy cologne.  She was looking for a specific brand.  It was a very exclusive perfume, very hard to find.  The clerk gave her the news, “The good news is there is one bottle left.  The next news may be good or bad, it depends on you.  We only have the extract.”  Victoria asked the clerk, “Excuse my ignorance, but what is the extract?”  The clerk replied, “The extract is the most concentrated form of perfume sold.  Because it is more concentrated the scent is more intense and lasts longer.”  Victoria’s curiosity was piqued, “You mean to tell me that perfume is eluted?  The clerk graciously replied, “Well yes.  The essence of the scent is eluted in ethanol and water.  The more concentrated it is the better and of course the more expensive.  That is why they say the best perfume comes in smaller bottles.  They are more concentrated.  Which also means you can put on less amount, and still smell as well as when you put a lot of cologne, which is the more diluted.”  Victoria than asked the clerk, “So it is like concentrated juice or something similar?  The clerk laughed at her ingenuity, but realized she got the picture, and then said, “Yes.  The concentrated juice would be the essence that we dissolve in water.”

Besides perfume, many of the things we buy or eat have essential ingredients.  For example: bread has flour, omelets’ have eggs, and prescriptions normally have an active ingredient.  The word essence comes from Latin word that means “To be.”  Essence may be defined as the intrinsic or indispensable properties that serve to characterize or identify something; the most important ingredient; the crucial element; an extract that has the fundamental properties of a substance in concentrated form (An extract in a solution of alcohol, such as perfume or scent); or something that exists, especially a spiritual or incorporeal entity.  Without the essential extract perfume is nothing but alcohol.

With this in mind let us read Revelation 19:10,

Revelation 19:10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

What does essence have to do with this verse?  It is interesting that in the Biblical Greek the word “spirit” used in this verse can be translated as essence.  Prophecy is an utterance said by a person who is inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal to us our Sin and God’s solution for Sin in the person of Jesus.  The essence of prophecy according to Revelation 19:10 is the Testimony of Jesus.  All prophecy that comes from God is essentially giving a witness of Jesus as the Savior of the world.

This has an interesting connotation for those chosen at the end to be the recipients of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the latter rain.  Revelation 19:10 and 12:17 says that they have the Testimony of Jesus.  They will be entrusted with the Loud Cry of Revelation 18.  This outpouring of power will come with prophetic gifts as we read in Joel 2: 28, 29:

Joel 2: 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joel 2: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

This special group -that Revelation calls the 144,000 - will all be prophets, just as Elijah (Malachi 4:5).  However, just as Elijah, their main mission will not be the destruction and slaughter of Baal worshipers.  No, it will be to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6).  This will only happen if those who hear this loud cry message: listen and heed the message to turn their hearts to God.

Ellen White says that we should all strive to be a part of this special group.  However, many of us will not be part of this group.  We will sleep before the latter rain is poured.  But, just as David was not given the privilege of building the Temple, and was however, given the privilege of training the one who would, we too are given the privilege of training - in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) - those who will receive this special and powerful outpouring of the Spirit.  We are to make sure they receive the former rain, which will prepare them to grow to the fullness, stature and perfection of Christ.  When they forsake all Sin and reflect the perfect character of Christ’s righteousness than the latter rain will be poured on them.  This will enable this group to finish the work of spreading the loud cry – the Gospel - to all parts of the World.  It will also prepare them for the special privilege of seeing Christ return, and to be translated to Heaven as described in (1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 55).

Raul Diaz