Tue, Feb 7th - 5:48PM
How do You know a Prophet and what is a Prophet?
Now I think most of you will think that this is a rhetorical question, after all, we know all of the Prophets, don’t we?
Or do we?
I have run into many Christians who say that there are no prophets anymore. I mean, the argument that is made is that Revelations says near the end of that book:
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV)
Some people think that to mean that this is the end of all Prophecy. They argue that a Prophet saying anything would add or subtract from this Revelation, and even other parts of God’s Word. Now, I would be among those to caution anyone against claiming that they are a Prophet. If merely a teacher is held to a higher standard, (and you know how much fear I have of that if you know me at all!) think of the standard to which a Prophet is held!
So let me say this in observation: No Prophet can, (in the capacity of a Prophet) say or do anything contrary to what God has already revealed to us. Still, every Prophet was just like you or I, full of human frailties, and under the burden of their own sin, that was lifted by Christ Jesus, our Lord. Think about it only a little, and you will understand.
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
Guess what? Even the Prophets themselves are part of those who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Every single last one of them! The only person to walk upon this world without any fault of his own was Christ Jesus. Were it not so, he would not have needed to come and redeem us to himself!
I want you to carefully consider Christ’s own words here:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-19 (NIV)
Even Christ himself, (who if anyone had the authority to change God’s Plans, it would be He) did not add or subtract anything to what had already been established and revealed to us at that point! Think about it! Christ was greater than any Apostle or Prophet, and yet He did nothing to contradict God’s Plan for us, neither by omission or addition. No, He came to came to Fulfill the Law and the Prophets! How many times were strange things done, if only in our understanding, to fulfill what the Prophets had spoken about Him? Yes, there could very well have been other more deeply hidden meanings to these things, but first and foremost, they were to validate what the Prophets had already said!
Now consider the following passages:
1Now about the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed.
2You know that when you were heathen, you were led off after idols that could not speak [habitually] as impulse directed and whenever the occasion might arise.
3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed! And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
5And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].
6And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all.
7But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.
8To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;
9To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;
10To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.
11All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (AMP)
28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
1 Corinthians 12:28-13:2 (NLT)
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (NKJV)
I gain the understanding here that there is still the opportunity for Prophets to exist, even after Christ, even to today. The amplified Version gives some insight into what a Prophet truly is. You may not see this, but my understanding is so:
A Prophet may see what was. A Prophet may see what is. A Prophet may see what will be. It is by the third that we know a Prophet, and quite possibly is most powerful of the three I mention here. Why? Because what a Prophet actually does is speak what will be into being as if they understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge! God only gives a Prophet (or a Prophetess) what she or he can bear, however. They will not understand all, indeed they may not even understand what they have just said, but what they will say will be as if they did have this level of understanding because the source by which this comes does have this level of understanding! This is driven only by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, but revealed to them in what ever way God feels is appropriate to get the message out through them.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)
Fragile clay jars is what we truly are. Even the Apostles and Prophets!
Even more than this, I want you to understand the context of the following:
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Matthew 18:18-20 (NLT)
12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
John 14:12-14 (NLT)
23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.
John 16:23-27 (NLT)
17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact.
John 8:17 (NLT)
15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:15 (NLT)
The context I want you to get out of all of this is that we have a lot of power, when we agree, but if that agreement is not in line with the Lord’s Word, we truly cannot ask of it in His name. Can you truly go and ask of something in this world in someone else’s name, knowing that they would be opposed to it? In the worldly setting, we would not do this, and yet we think we have the freedom to do this with God! Even a Prophet could not do this, for in doing this, they cannot at that moment be acting as a Prophet! But though a Prophet may see more than you or I, and an Apostle even more than a Prophet, what we can see and understand of God’s Will gives us great latitude to shape our future and speak it into being, at least from the perspective that we live in now.
In Truth and Love,