A Study of Acts 3:22-23

The title of this article is: “A Prophet Like Unto Me”, or “A Prophet like unto Moses”. Obviously, this is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, the Lord Jesus Christ does not resemble Moses in all aspects, because Moses is just a man and Christ is Almighty God. We read

Acts 3:22
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.

Acts 3:23
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

God promised to raise up a Prophet, “of your brethren”, which means He shall be a descendant from the nation of Israel. And then Moses says: “Like unto me”. He will be “a prophet like unto me”.

We want to see in what ways the Lord Jesus Christ is a Prophet like unto Moses, and in what ways does He not resemble Moses?

Moreover God adds to these words: “Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you”. And then follows a severe warning for those who refuse to hear that prophet. You would think that the nation of Israel would have heeded that warning so that they would be ready when He came. But they did not heed the warning. And since, by God’s grace, they were not ready to meet that “Prophet Like Unto Me” they crucified Him, and thereby prepared the way for Christ to make atonement for all those whom God intended to save. But the warning still stands: It shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. On the Mount of transfiguration the Father spoke from heaven, and He said:

Hear Ye Him (Acts 3:22-23, Deuteronomy 18:18-19)

When we read this account in Acts 3:22-23 we are directed to the Old Testament, where God promised this to the children of Israel. Let me read to you what God said in Deuteronomy 18:18,

Deuteronomy 18:18
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.

Deuteronomy 18:19
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.

When the Lord Jesus came on earth, could the nation of Israel have known that the promised Messiah, the Prophet, was born?

Yes they could. God showed a vision to the priest Zechariah, and God performed a miracle baby for his wife Elizabeth, and God miraculously opened the mouth of Zechariah who prophesied that the time had come for the appearance of Messiah. Then God sent the angels to the shepherds in the field, who were watching their flocks by night, and God sent the wise men from the East to Jerusalem to proclaim that a King has been born. The priests and the scribes even knew an obscure passage in Micah that He must be born in Bethlehem, but not one of them thought it was worth his while to accompany the wise men to Bethlehem, which was only 5 miles from Jerusalem. Yes, they knew the Word of God in their head, but they had not heard Him. This is a clear illustration of the principle that all men, even the holy people in Jerusalem, are born in bondage to sin and they continue in this state of sin until it pleases God to rescue them from this condition. All good works such as reading and memorization of Scriptures are unfruitful, until God the Holy Spirit gives them a new soul. When God commands people: “Hear ye Him”, no one will obey His command, unless they are chosen by God unto salvation and God the Holy Spirit has given them a new soul.

Now let us look at the key words: “A Prophet Like Unto Me”. How does Moses resemble Christ?

Moses Had to Die (Numbers 20:12, Hebrews 9:8)

We all know the story why Moses had to die outside of the land of Canaan. Toward the end of their wilderness wanderings the children of Israel were again in a region where there was no water.

God instructed Moses to speak to the Rock. (Have you ever wondered which rock that was?)

But Moses did not speak to the Rock. Moses struck the Rock, and God made much water to come out of the Rock. That was a stupendous miracle. But then God said to Moses in Numbers 20:12,

Numbers 20:12
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

This was the historical reason why Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. But the spiritual reason why Moses had to die was that Moses represented the Law of God. The Promised Land represents the Kingdom of God. We enter into the Kingdom of God by the grace of God, and “not by the works of the Law, for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified”. And since those who have been saved have, in Christ, also died to the Law, we must be separated from the Law. That is why Moses, representing the Law, had to die before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land.

In Hebrews chapter 9 God described the similarities and the contrasts between the First Covenant and the New Covenant. These are the terms God uses in the Bible. The First Covenant is never called the Old Covenant, because it is not “old”. The New Covenant is never called the Second Covenant, because it is not “a second”. In the period of about 1500 years that the First Covenant was in force, the children of Israel had to obey the Ceremonial Law. All things in the Ceremonial Law were only shadows pointing to the cross of Christ, and to the conditions prevailing under the New Covenant. When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross the entire Ceremonial Law was abolished, and the conditions of the New Covenant prevailed. This is what we read in Hebrews 9:8,

Hebrews 9:8
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

While the first tabernacle made under the supervision of Moses was still standing, and while the

tabernacle in the temple made under the supervision of Solomon was still standing, and while the tabernacle in the second temple, made under the supervision of Zerubbabel was still standing, the perfect way of salvation through Christ was not yet revealed. The Ceremonial Law prescribed the tabernacle where God dwelt in a special way. But free access to God in the Holiest of all through the cross of Christ was not yet made manifest as long as the temple was still standing. The Law had to die before free access to God could be revealed. Therefore Moses had to die. Secondly:

Christ Had to Die (Hebrews 9:11-12)

Moses had to die in order that the children of Israel could enter the Promised Land. God had to complete the picture of the death of the Law before the picture of salvation could begin. But the death of Moses was only a shadow of good things to come. The crossing of the Jordan and the entrance into the land of Canaan was only a shadow of our salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of God. But the death of Christ was the substance of which the death of Moses was only a shadow. Christ had to die in order that the children of God indeed could enter the Kingdom of God. God spoke in the OT in types and figures, which were shadows of good things to come. The shadow of a tree is not the tree itself. It is only a shadow that is pointing to the tree. In like manner Christ is the Substance of which all the Ceremonial Laws were only shadows. We read in Hebrews 9:11,

Hebrews 9:11
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Hebrews 9:12
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, came the OT high priest behind the veil that closed off the Holiest of all, with the blood of a bull and of a goat, to make atonement on behalf of the sins of all the people, including his own sins. The Lord Jesus Christ came as our High Priest. He is the Substance, of which all the OT high priests were only the shadows. Christ came not with the blood of goats and bulls, but He came with His own blood behind the veil, into the Holiest place where God dwells. Christ offered His own blood as a sin offering for all those whom He came to save. In other words, during the atonement when Christ suffered and died on the cross, Christ was the spotless Lamb of God who was sacrificed for the sins of all those He came to save, and Christ was also the High Priest who brought that perfect sacrifice to God who dwelt in the perfect Tabernacle not made with hands. It was a Tabernacle that was not made of bricks or stones, but it was the Tabernacle of His own body. This temple of His body was a new building, infinitely superior to all earthly temples made with hands. This was the Temple that was conceived by the Holy Spirit overshadowing the Virgin Mary. The Lord Jesus spoke of the temple of His body in John 2:21.

How could it be that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Lamb, and the High Priest, and the Tabernacle all at the same time?

Humanly speaking this is impossible, but Christ is God. With God all things are possible. God was indicating hereby that all the types and figures in the OT Ceremonial Law were pointing to Christ at the same time. Even the veil that separated the Holiest place from the rest of the temple was also representing the body of Christ, which had to be torn so that we can have free access to God through the body of Christ. Therefore Christ had to die to fulfill all these types and figures of the Old Testament.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave all that He had for us. In order for Him to purchase us on the cross, He had to give His all.

How can we know if we belong to His elect for whom He suffered and died?

Do We Hear Him? (Hebrews 10:19-22)

In Hebrews 10:19-22 we find there encouraging words for those who have been saved.

Hebrews 10:19
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:20
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Hebrews 10:21
And having an high priest over the house of God;

Hebrews 10:22
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The Lord says that we should have boldness to come before Him in prayer, because that is one of the privileges we have received. The Lord Jesus said: “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24).

Do we have to ask for everything?

No! God already knows what our needs are.

Can we change God’s plans by our petitions?

No! God knows what we are going to ask Him, even before we were born.

But that is no reason to keep silent. That is no reason to be bashful before God, excusing ourselves that we do not know how to pray. We should pray to God when we get up in the morning, and when we go to bed in the evening and all the time in between. Through prayer and Bible study we establish an ongoing communication with God.

For example, if we do not know how to pray, we can tell the Father that we do not know how to pray. Then we can ask Him to teach us how to pray. This is one of the requests that God will fill, because it brings glory to God. And God will teach us what it means “to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). It is a privilege to come before the throne of Almighty God and He always hears us.

Which other person in the world do you know who will always lend a willing ear, and who always understands what we mean?

We can ask God to give us light when we read the Bible. We can ask God to keep us faithful in His Word. We can ask God to teach us what it means to give Him all the honor and the glory. That is not a small request. We can ask God to give us a hatred for certain sins that we still embrace. We can ask God to give us a free and extrovert spirit and ability of speech when we speak with others. We can ask God to make other people receptive to the Word of God when we speak to them. We can ask God that He give us guidance and wisdom that we conduct ourselves as children of the Most High. We can ask God that our children may grow up fearing Him and honoring Him. We can ask God that He take away our fears concerning the future of our children, and that we will learn to give it all into His hand. We can ask God to teach us how to thank Him for everything that He sends our way, even those things that we do not like. We can ask God to give us a job in this church so that we will be fruitful in the furtherance of His Kingdom. We can ask God to give us boldness to step forward to offer our services for this church. As you know, we are a small congregation that is not growing. It may be God’s will that we remain small, but we can ask God what we can do to help our congregation to grow. All these petitions, and many more, we may bring boldly before the throne of grace.

Do we hear Him?

If God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead, has been willing to lay down His life for us, and He has been willing to suffer the torment of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for our sins, and we see in our life the reality of this great gift of faith He has given us, why then are we so timid?

If we truly hear Him, we will have more confidence to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”.

If God is with us, who can be against us?

What other similarities are there between Moses and Christ?

Why is Christ a Prophet like unto me?

Moses Was a Mediator (Hebrews 9:6-8)

What is a mediator?

A mediator interposes between two warring parties in order to reconcile them to one another.

In what way was Moses a mediator?

Moses was sent by God to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. But the children of Israel were at war with God. Most of them were constantly murmuring against God and against Moses. This was a sign that they were not saved and God confirmed it in Hebrews chapter 3 that they remained in unbelief. Moses was always mediating between the children of Israel and God. The exodus out of Egypt was a shadow of God’s plan of salvation for His elect people. God’s elect have been chosen from all nations and kindreds and tongues and people. His elect are born in bondage to sin and Satan. They are freed from their bondage through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ and by receiving a new soul from God the Holy Spirit. This is the substance of which the exodus was just a shadow. The wandering of Israel through the wilderness was a shadow of our wanderings through the wilderness of this world. And even their worship of God was concealed in types and shadows of Christ and His Atonement. Through Moses as the mediator between God and the children of Israel God instituted a new order of things in worship, and Moses was the builder of a new tabernacle. For example in Hebrews 9:6-8 we read about the Day of Atonement,

Hebrews 9:6
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

Hebrews 9:7
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Hebrews 9:8
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

All the animal sacrifices performed in the Old Testament could not take away one sin. All these animal sacrifices were only shadows, pointing to the Substance, which was Christ on the cross. But look at all these offerings and sacrifices. These animals were all burnt in the fire. Now look at the cross. Where is the fire? The fire was inside the Lord Jesus Christ. He had to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for our sins. Nothing less would be sufficient to satisfy the righteousness of God.

Moses, like Christ, was always in intimate communication with God. God spoke to “Moses mouth-to-mouth, and face-to-face, as a man speaketh unto his friend, and not in dark speeches”. But Moses was only a shadow of the Mediator that was to come.

Christ Is Called the Only True Mediator (Hebrews 9:11-18, John 15:12)

Christ was sent by God to bring His chosen ones out of the house of bondage, to deliver those that were in bondage to sin and Satan.

We read in Hebrews 9:11-14,

Hebrews 9:11
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Hebrews 9:12
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:13
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

Hebrews 9:14
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

If we have been saved, the blood of Christ has purged our conscience from all our dead works. Those works are dead because even our best works are mixed with sin. Even our best works are like filthy rags in the sight of God. None of those works could qualify as a good work with which we could clothe ourselves to hide our shame. But Christ has done for us what we could not do. Look in verse 14. The blood of Christ has not just made us clean and sitting pretty, but the blood of Christ has prepared us to serve the living God.

Now we should ask ourselves, “What am I doing to serve the living God”?

And do not be satisfied with what you are doing already. You can always add a few more things to this list. What Christ has done for us is of infinite value. How is it possible that we would say in our response of gratitude, “Well, I have done this already, and that should be good enough”? May it never be that we would have this attitude. Then we read,

Hebrews 9:15
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 9:16
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Hebrews 9:17
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Hebrews 9:18
Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Five times do we read in this passage the word “Testament”. This is the same word as the word Covenant. In fact, the Covenant of God is God’s Last Will and Testament, which God wrote before the foundation of the world, in which God named all the beneficiaries who should inherit all that God has, when God, in Christ, would die on the cross. Indeed the body of Christ died on the cross.

But did Christ in His Spirit die also?

Yes, in His Spirit Christ was subject to the second death, which is the lake of fire. God carefully crafted these words in the Bible so that we would understand more and more of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.

Knowing then what He has endured in our place, how can we do anything less than love Him?

We can love Him by keeping His commandments.

And what are His commandments?

The Lord Jesus said in John 15:12,

John 15:12
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Do We Obey Him? (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Do we love one another as much as Christ loved us?

I know that this is impossible.

But does this not indicate that we must never say that we have done enough?

We have never done enough! Let us turn to Hebrews 10:23. There we read:

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

In other words: “Let us remain faithful without wavering, like Christ has remained faithful. And let us encourage one another to love and to good works”.

How can we encourage one another to love and good works?

Well, we can assemble together on Sundays from 11:00 till 12:15, and we put our money in the offering so that Pastor can love us as much as Christ loved us.

Is that not enough?

No! That is not enough!

Does this reflect that we love one another as Christ loved us?

Are we waiting for orders from Pastor to generate some church programs about loving one another?

You can see how ridiculous this gets.

Does a mother who loves her child wait for orders from her husband on how to really love her child?

No! Of course not! If we truly love one another, then we will create some actions ourselves. When we come to church we are not passive spectators. We are not even responsive servants who wait for orders before we respond. No! If we indeed love one another we will be proactive participants of this church, and we would be constantly searching for ways in which we can “encourage one another to love and good works”. I am waiting for your response after the service.

Moreover, we read in verse 25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”.

What could that possibly mean?

It can only mean one thing: It must be our first priority to come to worship with the saints. This is how we obey Christ’s commandments.

This is how we show that we love Him and this is how we show that we love one another.

Did you know that we already edify one another with our presence?

Do we obey Him?

Let us now turn back to Moses, who said, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me”.

Why was it necessary that God would raise up another prophet?


Moses Could Not Bring Salvation (Hebrews 9:9-10, Hebrews 10:1-4)

Hebrews 9:9
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:10
Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

In other words, NONE of these rituals and ceremonies and gifts and sacrifices could take away one sin from the conscience of the individual making the sacrifices. They could not make this person perfect, because these were all “figures”, which means they were only shadows of good things to come. These “figures” only served for the time then present, from the time of the Exodus until the time of the cross. But perfection is required. God cannot let anyone into His holy heaven who still has one sin on his soul.

How then were the Old Testament Prophets saved?

How then was king David saved?

How then were all the Old Testament saints saved?

They were saved just like the New Testament saints were saved: God saved them by grace, and not by their works. King David was not saved because of his good behavior. For a short time God lifted His hand of restraint from David and he became an adulterer and a murderer. But God had mercy on him and God forgave him all his sins. David was saved because God instilled in David a love for the Lord and a trust that Messiah would be his Savior. We have pretty good information concerning our salvation if we love the Lord. David looked forward to the coming of his Savior, who would come forth from the loins of David. The Ceremonial Law had to cease, because we read in Hebrews 10:1,

Hebrews 10:1
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Hebrews 10:2
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Hebrews 10:3
But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

In other words, the Law could not save anyone, and obedience to the Law could not save anyone, because the Law was only a shadow of good things to come. If the Law had saved anyone, then those who were saved would have ceased to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this is not the case. The blood of bulls and of goats cannot take away sins. Therefore, in those sacrifices there is a remembrance of sins every year. That is why the Ceremonial Law had to cease. It is very ominous that those sins were remembered every year. Those sins have to be removed. But they can only be removed when Christ has paid for these sins on the cross.

Do We Have a Use for His Words? (Heb 10:32-36)
Do we have any use for the words of the Lord Jesus Christ? We should keep in mind the warning of Acts 3:22, “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people”. What does it mean, “shall be destroyed”? This does not refer to physical death or to annihilation. This refers to Hell, because there are only two places to go to: Heaven or Hell. And so, what are the words Jesus spoke that we must be careful to hear? Is there something that Jesus commanded that we should do? Is there something that we must obey and do, or else we go to Hell? Does this not refer to salvation or Hell? But it is not possible that we must do something for our salvation. Salvation is only by grace. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:24, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life”. Therefore, if God has given us the faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we have already been saved by grace. There is nothing we can do to accomplish this state of grace. And if we have been saved, we have also an urgent desire to pray, to read God’s Word, to love our fellow believer in church, and to love those outside the church, because we have been commanded to love our enemies. Therefore we have an urgent desire to be witnesses for Christ. Look at these words now in Heb 10:32. The Apostle comforts us with these words in Heb 10:32, reminding us that we have labored for the furtherance of the Gospel, and that God will remember our faithfulness:

Hebrews 10:32
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Hebrews 10:33
Partly, whilst ye were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Hebrews 10:34
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Hebrews 10:35
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Hebrews 10:36
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Hebrews 10:37
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Yes! Christ shall come and take us to be with Him forever. What a glorious day that will be.


By Alfred J. Chompff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: