The Old Covenant had three main offices that were filled with God’s man. There was the office of Prophet. This office was initially filled by Moses, and then various other lesser prophets were called throughout the history of Israel as God saw the need. Then there was the Priest. Aaron, Moses brother was the first to fill this office and he was the proto-type of all priests who came after him. And lastly there was the office of King. This office was a reluctant addition that came much later in Israel’s history after Israel got tired of being delivered by the different prophets as portrayed in the book of Judges. They then demanded of Samuel, the current prophet of that day, that God would grant them a king and make them like all the other surrounding nations.
Each of these offices was a type of the Messiah who would come later. In the New Covenant, Jesus is our King, he is our High Priest, and he is our prophet. This foreshadowing was not very subtle and was clearly prophesied by Moses himself.
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;” Deuteronomy 18:15
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18:18-19
Moses promised that another prophet would be raised up by God and that if Israel would not obey (hearken) His word that that person would answer personally to God. This is a clear prophecy of Christ. Jesus is that prophet that God has sent.
When Jesus began his public ministry he went right to work offending the Jewish leaders. They were so offended that they wanted to put him to death. But the people (the multitude) recognized that he was a prophet and the leaders feared the multitude so the left him alone for a while.
“And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.” Matthew 14:5
“And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:11
“But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” Matthew 21:46
“And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:” Luke 24:19
Even the Samaritan women who met Jesus at the well recognized that He was the prophet who was to come.
“The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” John 4:19
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus began a series of teaching on the Old Covenant scriptures. He began by stating what Moses originally said.
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time”
At least five times Jesus began his point by stating what has been said, and each time it is a clear reference to what Moses said in his role a prophet. He then went on to elaborate on each of the stated subjects beginning with the phrase:
“But I say unto you.”
Included in his teachings were the themes:
—Thou shalt not kill (Moses) / Don’t be angry with your brother (Jesus)
—Thou shalt not commit Adultery (Moses) / Look not on a women in lust (Jesus)
—Divorce must give a writing of divorcement (Moses) / No divorce except for adultery (Jesus)
—If you swear an oath-perform it (Moses) / Don’t swear oaths, let your yea be yea and your nay be nay (Jesus)
—An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth (Moses) / Resist evil-turn the other cheek (Jesus)
So here we have Jesus taking the words of the preeminent Old Covenant prophet, Moses, and raising the bar on each of these statements. Jesus is here giving notice that he is that prophet that is greater than Moses. So every word of Christ is to us in the New Covenant, the word of our great prophet.
Shortly after the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter three we see Peter declaring that what Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy chapter 18 has now come to pass and is fulfilled.
“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” Acts 3:22-23
Peter begins by quoting the passage of Moses from Deuteronomy 18 and then declares that every soul that will not hear (obey) Him will be destroyed. He had previously declared that the Jews as a people had already murdered this New Covenant prophet that God had raised up.
“But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” Acts 3:14-15
Peter is declaring that this prophet who God promised through the prophecy of Moses has come and you have killed Him, but do not worry, God raised Him from the dead and you still have the opportunity to obey Him. You can obey Him by repenting.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
Then later in the book of Acts, Stephen is preaching to the council of Jewish leaders in chapter 7.
“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.” Acts 7:37
And again, God is making it clear that this Jesus is our New Covenant prophet and we must obey Him. To reject Him is to leave your soul in peril. God has now spoken directly to us by way of His Son Jesus. It is the role of the prophet of God to carry God’s message to His People. The writer of Hebrews tells us that this is what Jesus did.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:1-2
So now we are in the New Covenant and we are called to be obedient to our covenant prophet. We no more would go back to Moses as our prophet as we would go back to Aaron and his animal sacrifice for our priestly needs. Jesus has fulfilled the type and the shadow that Moses was as prophet, and we are now free from the mosaic word and we are called now to obey the Royal Law, the Law of Liberty, the Law of Christ.
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” Luke 24:44
“Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found HIM, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” John 5:46