-by Tony Warren
Prophet: LL pro'phe-ta, Gk pro'phetesmessenger of God foretelling future events; One who speaks as the mouth-piece or representative of God; One through whom God's divine will is expressed; a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration; Any person chosen by God to pass on His message.re there prophets today? And if there are, what is the scope of their prophetic office? These are frequently asked questions that deserve a Biblical answer. The word prophet, as used in Christianity, has three general meanings. It can mean a messenger of God who speaks on His behalf, it can mean one who foretells divinely ordained things to come (future prophecy), or in srare instances it can mean someone of scripture who had been given future prophecy through supernatural means. To put it simply, a prophet is the vessel which God uses to have His word preached in the earth.
The word translated prophet in the old Testament is generally the Hebrew word [nabiy], which is taken from the root [naba], meaning to speak forth. The 'prophet' was designated to speak the message of God to the people. Very "literally," the word means he is a mouth-piece or spokesperson for God. Anyone who 'spoke again' the words that God had given, was a 'prophet' of God
In the New Testament, the Greek word prophet literally means to, 'speak before.' It's taken from the two root words [pro], meaning before, and [phemi], meaning to speak or tell. Of course the messengers of God (as God's mouthpiece or representative), often spoke of what was a a coming event, such as judgment or prosperity. Thus they are designated as pro'phetes or God's foretellers of events. In fact, so much so that today many people think of Prophets of God as only those who tell of future events. But Prophets historically spoke the word from God concerning the present, and even the past. Foretelling the future was only one aspect of the prophetic office. Prophets usually were assigned the task of declaring God's laws, guiding God's people and correcting the abuses of the people. They were chosen of God to set right legal and moral abuses. Whether declaring what God had said, what God declared is, or what God declared will be, all this is called prophesying. This principle of the general meaning of Prophesy can be clearly seen in Luke chapter 22.
The question before us now is, are there 'Prophets of God' today, are all Christians prophets, or is this a term reserved as a special gift? One might be surprised to learn that the answer is, Yes, to all. Depending upon the context, the word prophesy can apply to all Christians (we all have the divine tesimony of Christ to proclaim as Witnesses), or it can apply to a prophetic office as a special gift. Not supernatural as in God speaking directly to someone through divine Revelation, but a gift as all special offices are gifts. i.e., Apostles, Teacher and prophets. Whatever peculiar talent God has bestowed upon each Christian is his gift.
Are there prophets today? Of course. Anyone declaring, "thus saith the Lord," is His prophet. Children of God who spake in God's name, and 'by his authority' (Ex. 7:1, Acts 1:6; Rev. 1:3), whether old testament or New, are all Prophets of God. Ultimately, all true Christians bringing the message from God (the gospel) are prophets. Biblical scholars almost unanimously agree that God uses all the Church as prophets to proclaim His word, purpose, and salvation plan upon earth. But the office of a prophet (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:5) is a specific spiritual gift wherein the one whom God has blessed by His spirit is gifted at interpreting and declaring His word of truth, above others. That person has the gift of, or has been given the office of a Prophet. In general, the word prophet in the New Testament is actually synonymous with having the testimony of God, or the testimony of Christ.
1st Corinthians 1:4-6
Are there prophets today? The answer is yes. The fact is, he who brings prophecy is a prophet of God. These are those who declare God's message to men. God's Word is God's Prophecy. Not as man might define Prophecy today, but as God has always defined it.
2nd Peter 1:19-21
1st Corinthians 14:3-4
So what has changed in a prophet since the completion of the Holy Canon? Nothing has Changed. Prophets still declare the Word of God, it's just that God's Word (being a complete as opposed to incomplete Word), is in the Holy Canon now. There is no continuing Word by divine supernatural revelation today. We have the Old Testament and we have the New Testament, and there is no further Testament of God, except by His prophets who have the testimony of Christ. We are now the prophets who have the complete innerrant Word from God. Sola scriptura! The Bible alone and in it's entirety is now our sole rule of faith. Prophets today prophesy from the pages of God's Holy Word rather than God speaking to them by an Anthropopathy, or in a burning bush, or on a mountain, or by any divine supernatural revelation. The Revelation of the Word of Prophesy is Complete. Both Old and New Testament Prophets being messengers of God, declared what the Lord had spoken, and there is little difference today. The Only difference is that God's Word comes from His completed revelation to man, the Bible.
There are some who claim that this warning of adding to the book means adding to the book of Revelation only. This is the proverbial 'splitting of hairs' and spurious at best, since no book of the Bible exists in a vacuum. Each book does not stand alone. We cannot even understand the book of revelation without the other books of the Bible. Moreover, whosoever adds to the book of revelation, adds to the bible, and whosoever takes away from the book of revelation, takes away from the Bible, as it is one cohesive whole. There is no getting around the Word. All throughout scripture God says to write the Word in a book, and do not add to the Word, but now God says differently. At the end God says do not add to 'the book,' as the revelation is complete and there is no additional revelation.
Divine supernatural revelation of the Word direct from God has ceased with this completion of the Canon, else God's Word is not complete, and He still has something further to 'add' to it. That cannot be. And God says whosoever dares to abrogate this truth, upon them is the curse. They shall receive the plagues written in the book. And to find out those plagues, we must search the 'whole Bible' for in it is the defining of the plagues. He who prophesies today prophesies from God's Word. Not by feigning new supernatural visions, or pretending to have conversations with God, or declaring that new Words supernaturally are given them from above (an additional Word of God), but by declaring God's Word for the future, past, and present 'from' God's completed Word, the Bible. All Christians being Prophets of God, are all messengers of God, all are vessels with God's word from our mouths foretelling the future, explaining the past, and exhorting the Church for the present. For the power of God's Word does this, in the 'authority' He has given us that we be those with the testimony of Christ (Revelation 19:10). We have been given that Power in Christ Jesus. God has established Himself in us that we are Priests and Kings and Prophets, unto the ends of the earth.
That is the new wondrous thing which God has done by His death and resurrection. He has made us all Witnesses, Prophets and Holy Men, a Sanctuary of God wherein He dwells and from which He now speaks. When we witness that Christ is coming again, we are prophesying. When we witness that men should repent because the wages of sin is death, we are prophesying. When we testify that Hell awaits those who forebear, we are prophesying. And when we declare that the final end of the child of God is the Kingdom and everlasting glory, we are prophesying. We speak the Word of God from our mouths, and we had better speak His Word faithfully.
Are there prophets today? According to God's words, Prophets declare the message of God's word, saying, "thus saith the Lord." And decrees woe unto that prophet "when the Lord has not said."
Copyright 2000 Tony Warren
Created 8/18/00 / Last Modified 9/25/00
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