15 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;
16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18 I will raise them up a Prophet (John 6:14; 7:20) from among their brethren (John 1:11; Acts 2:30), like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth (John 12:49 & 50); and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him (John 8:26; 15:15; 17:8).
19 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.
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Moses prophesied the coming of an intervening Prophet who would be ‘like unto him’ which prophet must be obeyed. Yet, the book of Deuteronomy closes with the following words:
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharoah, and to all his servants, and to all his land, 12 and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of Israel. (Deut 34:10-12)
There had been no fulfillment of this prophecy through the time that the Old Testament was completed; other scriptures were written, but no prophet had arisen ‘like unto Moses.’
Truly Moses was an incredible prophet; consider his accomplishments: he led an entire nation of people out of slavery, developed and cultivated their initial culture; established the framework of their legal, civil, religious, and social structure (principals from which are still studied and utilized today); provided the foundation for their literature… the list goes on and on.
The level of impact that Moses had on history changed the world forever. But then, many of those things are just a byproduct of Moses’ ministry.
‘There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses WHOM THE LORD KNEW FACE TO FACE…’ (Deut. 34:10)
That is the principle thing – the passage goes on to point out he initial impact he had made on the nation of Israel, and to the world, but the basis is his intimacy with God. God found Moses trustworthy (Num. 12:6-8).
In fact, God found Moses so trustworthy, that He ministered through Moses the entire system of appropriate religious service for the human race. Moses was given the pattern of the tabernacle (in which God would cohabit with man (Ex. 25:40; 26:30, etc.)); Moses was given the Law, by which man could know the statutes of God, and live by them (Ex. 24:3 &4); Moses established the priesthood (Ex 40:15 & 16).
Truly by the time Old Testament was finished there had arisen no prophet like him – indeed, all of the priests and prophets who followed, followed in Moses footsteps. They served in the tabernacle, obeyed the law, submitted to the priesthood. What an impact!
And yet, this same Moses prophesied the coming of another great prophet, one like unto himself. By the time the Old Testament was complete, there had no prophet risen like him… indeed, if we consider the ministry of Moses the question quickly arises: what prophet could ever even come close to the ministry of Moses, and the impact he made?!
Yet the life of Moses was only a shadow of the Prophet which was to come. Moses was given the pattern of the tabernacle (the temporary temple) – the Prophet to come WAS the True Temple of God (the eternally permanent dwelling of God (John 2:19 & 21; Col 2:9)). Moses was given the Law – the words of God; the Prophet to come was the Living Word of God (John 1:17; 2 Cor 3:6-8) who would entirely FULFILL the law (Matt 5:17) of Moses. Moses established the priesthood, the Prophet to come is the eternal High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 6:20; 7:24-27).
As attested by the Apostle Peter, Messiah was the Prophet like unto Moses; in fact, Moses was merely a prophecy of That Prophet which was to come. The whole of Moses’ life and ministry were but types and shadows – prophetic echoes – of That Prophet who was to come.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 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.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Hear, O Israel, the Prophet foretold by Moses: Jesus the Messiah. For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
The Law was from Moses, but ultimate Truth is found in Jesus. A prophet’s job is to make known the will, and ways of the Lord; no prophet had arisen like Moses through all of history leading up to him who unveiled the very Law of God who revealed the will and word of God in a way that temporal man could understand – God’s will shown in the letter. Yet even Moses was not sufficient to reveal the fullness of God’s Word in Living form, full of grace and Truth.
The Ultimate Prophet is like unto Moses, but superior. Moses ministry was based on the Old earthly Covenant (inferior), Jesus established the New and better Covenant (Heb. 8:6). Moses brought the carnal commandment (Heb. 7:16); Jesus brought the power of an endless life.
All the ministry of Moses foreshadowed the coming Christ – Moses delivered the natural seed of Abraham (natural Israel) from bondage in Egypt. Christ delivers spiritual Israel to Him from bondage to the world.
1 Cor 10:1-4
10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Moses led the nation of Israel through a type of redemption in applying the blood of Passover – Christ fulfilled Passover, applying His blood to those who receive it.
Moses led the nation through a type of water baptism, leading them through the red sea (in which the oppression of the world finally died to them, Pharaoh’s army drowned in the sea) – Christ bids us come be buried into His death in baptism (Rom 6) that we, too, might walk in new liberty, free from the oppression of sin.
Moses led the nation through a type of the baptism in the Holy Ghost, being covered by a pillar of cloud and of fire – Christ is He who baptizes with the Holy Ghost in Truth.
Moses led the twelve princes of the tribes of Israel; the anointing that was upon Moses was taken and imparted to the seventy elders of Israel (thus establishing the Sanhedrin (Num. 11:24 & 25)). When this happened, Moses declared the depth of his heart’s desire for God’s people: ‘Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!‘ (Num. 11:29)
Christ led the twelve Apostles (Luke 9:1-6), and imparted unto the seventy (Luke 10:1). After His ascension His Spirit was poured out upon ALL flesh, effectively fulfilling Moses’ heart-desire that God would put His Spirit on ALL His people, and make them all prophets.
Moses could not pour out his spirit on all flesh – he could only let the anointing he had to be imparted. Moses could not carry all the people in his bosom – he was but a man.
God, Himself, had to come as a man, like unto Moses, and be That Prophet which was to come. (Link to part 2)