Prophets and Prophecy.
Isaiah 41:21-29. Here God through the pen of Isaiah shows the futility of false gods and their prophets or those that set themselves as prophets/diviners/soothsayers etc.
God spoke in times past to our fathers by the prophets – but in these last days by His Son. Hebrews 1:1-2.
So just as on the Mount of Transfiguration, we need to listen to the Son of God as God the Father instructs us to -
Matthew 17:5. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
The Lord told Moses that Aaron his brother would be his prophet. Exodus 7:1.
The Apostles and Prophets (apart from our Lord Jesus) are the only ones who gave us the Word of God by direct revelation which also contains things to come – prophetic happenings. The canon of Scripture is therefore sealed and we have no need to know anything else, otherwise all manner of the doctrines of men and demons could be added in. Those that give themselves the title of Apostle contradict the Scriptures.
The gift of prophecy within the 9 principle gifts is purely to edify or warn within the body of believers and will solely match up with what has been given but tends to be in a paraphrase fashion of utterance. It will therefore be recognised as a message of encouragement, edification and exhortation. Paul teaches that it is a better gift than tongues which is a minor gift that has been given a major emphasis by part of the wider Body of Christ.
Body of Teaching:
A Prophet – from the Greek ‘pro’ and ‘phemi’ – one who speaks instead of another, a spokesman for God. The last Prophet was the Apostle John and the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ is full of prophecies. We don’t listen to anyone else, just the Son whom God gave for He loves the world (the people in it) that they might return to Him. Jesus is the friend of sinners because He died for our sins.
A Prophet’s Qualifications – has the Authority to say what God reveals, and the Ability to give utterance to the revelation.
Two kinds of Prophets – those who possessing the gift were in the prophetic office and those who have the gift of prophecy within the Church. There is a big difference here as Elijah and Elisha as two examples were in the prophetic office for a designated time period as with all the others whether within the Old or New Testaments.
1. Its Purpose – proof of Divine Inspiration. Isaiah 41:21-23.
Let us note that the first recorded prediction was spoken by God direct. Gen 3:15.
2. The Scope – in the Old Testament it spoke of Messiah, the Jews and the Gentile nations and what would be.
3. Its Uses – to reveal God’s Plan by:-
Instructing the minds of mankind..
To warn and comfort the hearts of God’s people.
Ephesians 4:11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastor’s and teachers.
TO REACH, TEACH AND KEEP.
Apostles and Prophets – commanded to lay the foundational work and to give the Scriptures with prophetic words of things to come.
Evangelists – called to preach the Gospel of Salavation to the lost and to them direct them to the churches.
Pastor’s and teachers – chosen to guard, guide and grow the saints. This then is the work of the elders within the House of God.
(see 1 Peter 5:2-4).
Today within the emerging end times Church we have those who seek after titles to control the people of God. They either lead astray as hirelings or fleece the flock and so will give an account. Sadly, they will hear the voice of our Lord which we are warned about, “Away from me I never knew you!”
We are warned that not many of us should be teachers – James 3:1 but we do not read that not many of you should be apostles or prophets! They have come and gone, the evangelist is there to bring the babes into the Church to be fed and taught by pastors and teachers.
Peter says in his Second Epistle in chapter 2 verse 19 that ’we have the prophetic word confirmed’. (Past tense)
In verse 20 ‘knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.’ (Let us note it is of Scripture – past tense, that which has been given).
In verse 21 the Apostle and Prophet Peter tells us it is not of the will of man but from God as men were moved (past tense again).
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:19-22 that we are saints and members of the Household of God built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. (The word ‘built’ is in the past tense).
We are also told that no other foundation can be laid and that foundation was laid by our Lord Jesus and His Apostles and Prophets whom He chose to lay the foundations of the Faith once and for all delivered.
Finally, if we are to hear or listen to the Son of God let us do precisely that:
“Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Revelation 2:2b.