Into His Presence, Volume 2

Encountering the God of the Prophets

Christian - Non-Fiction
350 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Napoleon Burt is a lifelong learner and passionate educator. He has published a dozen articles in the medical literature over his career as a physician. Dr. Burt has always been passionate about teaching. He taught in medical residency programs at the Medical University of South Carolina and Children’s Medical Center Dallas. He was the Director of the pediatric anesthesiology fellowship program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and won several awards as a clinician educator during his career in academic medicine.

As a student of the Bible, Dr. Burt began systematically studying and memorizing the Bible as a teenager. He served for several years as the Director of Christian Education in the Carolina District Council of the International Young People’s Union. He has been active in ministry in differing capacities since 1989. He has taught several classes on the compatibility of science and the Bible and continues to serve as a Bible teacher in his local church.

Dr. Burt has spent years immersed in medical science and devoted to educating himself and others. Simultaneously, he has spent the majority of his adult life systematically studying and teaching others how to study the Bible. This background has qualified Dr. Burt to help students of the Bible and students of science correctly apply principles that undergird life and learning in both disciplines (science and medicine) and draw clear and practical conclusions from all the relevant information available to them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Into His Presence: Encountering the God of the Prophets by Napoleon Burt is a Christian non-fiction and historical theology guide that canvasses the Old Testament prophets in order to reconstruct the approach readers take toward Bible study, particularly as it applies to their perception of God. It's the interactions and the accuracy of the historical timelines, through the lives and eyes of the prophets, that is the driver of Burt's work. The chapters are separated by encounters which span from the non-writing prophets—characterized as prophets whose stories are not in books that carry their own name—through to the final Old Testament prophet Malachi, last because the messianic prophecies are fulfilled by the life of Jesus Christ. Each chapter includes the setting, the story, the encounter, the message, its impact on each individual prophet, who were all notably very different, just as any other people on the planet now or then would be. Finally, each chapter ends with a summary that contains charts and graphs to tie the work together.

It's immediately evident that the compiling of information and the pure act of putting pen to paper to create Into His Presence required more than just painstaking attention to detail, even when details are generally considered to be scarce. It took an act of faith. Faith in the message, faith in the ability to convey it appropriately, and faith that those who read it will have the capacity to look with renewed eyes and an open heart. Napoleon Burt does an exceptional job with the delicate balance of using a narrative that is simple enough to understand while still maintaining the discerning, conversant recording of the encounters of the text. That text, of course, being the Old Testament. I found the most enjoyment in chapter five, Encountering Jehovah and His Seventh Century Prophets, which is historically significant as the rising of the Babylonian Empire, and biblically significant as Burt succinctly points out, “through the use of sixty first-person singular divine pronouns and fifty-two third-person singular divine pronouns, Jehovah is declared to be the Holy One.” This is an outstanding piece of work. Very highly recommended.

Christian Sia

Napoleon Burt’s Into His Presence is subtitled Encountering the God of the Prophets, a book that is good for Bible studies and for discussion groups. In this book, the author underlines the relationship between God and His chosen people and the role of the prophets in the evolution of that relationship. Certain traits about God are highlighted as the reader follows events written about in the Old Testament and how they fit into the history of humankind. The book shows the face of a Divine God who intervenes in human history and the author underscores powerful lessons as he takes readers through an understanding of the prophets: Malachi, Jeremiah, Elijah, Isaiah, and other prophets of their time.

This is one of those few books in which prophecy is succinctly and clearly defined and which clarifies the role of prophecy in a biblical context. A prophet will be understood as more than one who predicted events that were yet to happen: he was the mouthpiece of God, hence the well-known utterance, “Thus spake the Lord.” Napoleon Burt’s Into His Presence is written in concise and crisp prose and the author has the gift of going for what is essential. The explanations and exploration into the prophets are supported by relevant biblical references, making readers feel comfortable engaging in a conversation with someone who knows what they are talking about. This book is a great resource for anyone who wants to understand God more deeply, study the work of the prophets in more detail, and be immersed in a religious culture where God is not far from His people.

Romuald Dzemo

Into His Presence is the second volume in the Encountering the God of the Prophets series by Napoleon Burt, and is as informative and as thoughtfully written as it is inspirational. Readers encounter a God who speaks to His people through His prophets and who intervenes in the history of the people of Israel. The role of the prophet is uniquely explored in this work, and the author demonstrates what constitutes the unique characteristics of prophecy. In this book, readers encounter the prophecies of some of the outstanding men of God in the Old Testament: Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Malachi, and many others.

It is interesting to see the image of God come out as a person as He interacts with the Old Testament prophets. The author does a wonderful job of exploring these encounters and unveiling the face of the God of Israel to his contemporaries. It would be hard to imagine the attributes of God and His plan for His creation, but when the reader studies the encounters with the prophets to whom He gave the words of prophecy, the understanding of who God is and what is His plan for humanity is clear as well. This is a beautifully written book, with powerful biblical references that reinforce the message of the book. Napoleon Burt comes across as an expert in Bible prophecy and expounds on it with the simplicity and clarity that only a master can possess. This is one of the best books I have read about the prophets and the role they play in unveiling the face of God.

Tammy Ruggles

Into His Presence, Volume 2: Encountering the God of the Prophets by Napoleon Burt is a work of non-fiction that explores the nature and intentions of God through the prophets of the Old Testament: Joel, Isaiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, etc. Some prophets are more familiar than others, but Burt makes a point to cover them in a way that brings them and God to life through their teachings and prophecies. This material may be a little difficult to digest for those unfamiliar with the Bible or Old Testament prophets, but Burt writes in a way that may remind you of someone introducing you to new and interesting acquaintances. The prophets were flesh-and-blood men, and the author makes them this real to the reader.

The appealing thing about this book is how the prophets are personalized, how they predicted events in history that came true (and some that have yet to be realized), how God is elevated, and how it seeks to reconcile humankind with the Creator. It also seeks to marry the Old Testament with the New Testament, showing how Jesus Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies made by the prophets of ancient Israel. Some audiences tend to keep them separated, but Burt shows the relationship between the two, and how the Scriptures should be seen as a whole, not two separate parts. Into His Presence, Volume 2: Encountering the God of the Prophets, by Napoleon Burt is a book that will make you think, keep an open mind, and learn something new about the prophets, Bible, God, and maybe even yourself--if you let it.

Liz Konkel

Into His Presence, Volume 2: Encountering the God of the Prophets by Napoleon Burt delivers a deeper understanding of the person that is God. Through a series of encounters, the book breaks down the various prophets that had encounters with God, which include the stories of Daniel, Malachi, Isaiah, Elijah, and more. The amazing details contributed to the analysis will offer you greater enrichment and enlightenment and take your understanding to a deeper level. This book explores the divinity of God while also helping you strive for an intimate relationship with God as a person. The goal of the book is to further your understanding and help you enrich your life on the journey to discovering His presence in your life.

This is an ideal biblical resource that immerses you further into the prophets as Napoleon Burt breaks them down into thorough and detailed lessons that will educate and open your mind. Each chapter focuses on a different prophet. Burt provides analytic charts with outlines of the various encounters these prophets had with Jehovah. This gives a visual timeline and helps for mentally organizing the events. This gives you a deeper look at the prophetic ministry. Verses from the Bible are woven throughout to help with further research and act as a key companion to help you find a deeper understanding of the Bible, prophets, and encountering God.

Burt strives to make you think by setting up right from the start two factors to keep in mind so that as you read through you’re looking for how to understand the use of divine pronouns and the singularity or plurality of the personhood of God. Understanding these two factors will give your reading a more thorough connection to immersing yourself in the teachings that Burt brings to life. At the root of understanding these prophecies is a push for you to look at tougher questions that will have your mind exploring different insights and prophetic events to see how they’re congruent with history and observational science. Into His Presence, Volume 2 is an incredible follow-up to the first volume with more thorough lessons that provide an in-depth biblical companion and an amazing analytical approach that will have you thinking further about prophetic ministry, the Bible, and your relationship with God.