Thursday, August 17, 2006



Prophecy in today's complicated, multi denominational churchsystems, is a highly controversial subject! The reason it is controversial, is because of its many different interpretations by various Bible scholars in the field of Eschatology, as well as theinterpretations and understanding of what the office of a prophetconsists of.

The objective of this discussion is not to study prophecy in the various eschatology systems, but to discuss the office and function of prophets in our present church age, as compared with the office of prophets in the early church and Old Testament. It is important that we, as Christians, become able to distinguish between genuine prophets and false prophets. Many in the church claim to be prophets of God today, but are they really? Do their claims line up to the Bible discription of theoffice of a prophet?

Is the office and function of prophets in thechurch today the same as they were in the Old Testament, or even inthe early church during the Apostolic era? Prophecy is one of the nine Spiritual gifts mentioned in FirstCorinthians, Chapter 12.

Two other gifts mentioned in that chapterare the Gift of the Word of Knowledge, and the Gift of the Word ofWisdom. Each of these gifts have different functions in the church and although are closely related in appearance, achieve differentend results when exercised by saints of God who are given thosegifts by the Sovereign grace of God. It is my contention that in our churches today, where the so called gift of prophecy is being operated, that there is much misunderstanding and confusion concerning the operation and purposeof the gift, and that the Gifts of the Word of Knowledge and Wisdom are usually being exercised, and being confused with the Gift ofProphecy!

It is not unusual for someone to stand up in the normal Pentecostalor Charismatic worship services today and give what is referred toas "a prophetic message from the Lord." Are we to believe that Godis still speaking directly to us today through prophets, and if so,can they be new revelations?

Did God really complete His revelations to man with the completionof the Canons of Scripture, or has He continued to give us newrevelations since the completion of Canon? In other words, where does the Bible end? Some say today's church is the continuation ofnew revelation, and that the 29th chapter of Acts is being written!If we are to accept that logic, how are we to discern between trueand false prophets?

Most of the cults were started because of somenew prophecy or new revelation of its founding prophet. Not only do the cults claim to be receiving new revelation from God through their prophets, but prophets from the occult are giving new revelations as well! In fact, "fortune tellers" presently sell their "prophecies", which in many cases, give accurate knowledge of the past events of the lives of people seeking this knowledge, as well as foretelling their future!

This is the reason Christians must have a clear understanding of the present office of God's prophets and the functions they are called to perform in todays church. Christians should be able to distinguish between "foretelling"and "forthtelling", which can bring a clearer understanding of the gift of prophecy, distinguishing it from the gifts of the word of knowledge and wisdom.

In this discussion, I will be intermingling these three gifts, while discussing their functions. The objection of the discussion is to take some of the confusion away from distinguishing between the three spiritual gifts, and to bring some light from the Scriptures on the present purpose and operation of each gift.

Christians should be on their guards and weigh heavily any new revelations given by the prophets before accepting them! The last prophecy given in the Bible, which applies to the entire Canon is recorded for all believers to heed: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues.



The Bible teaches that a prophet is a speaker of, or for God. The Bible prophet is also called a "Seer" in the Old Testament, meaningthat he could see into the future. Most of the confusion of understanding what a prophet is can be deciphered by understandingthat there were different kinds of prophets, with different levels of authority revealed throughout the Bible in different dispensational times.

The Old Testament Prophets were specifically chosen by God, and given His highest office or authority. The Old Testament prophets were the actual "mouthpiece" of God. God spoke to His prophets, whatever He wanted revealed to the masses of people and the prophets relayed the message to the people, either orally, or written.

The method is recorded for us in Hebrews 1:1,2. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets; hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,whom He bath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."

So, to clarify, God used prophets to speak to the Old Testament saints, and used His Son, Jesus Christ to speak to New Testament saints.

Most of the Old Testament was written by Old Testament prophets, while the New Testament writers only recorded what they heard and witnessed from the personal witness of the last prophet, Jesus Christ. Even the last book of the Bible, were the prophecies of Jesus Christ recorded by John, who wrote and recorded "The Revelation ofJesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bore record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw." (Revelation 1:1,2).

Therefore, the entire Bible was written as a prophecy to mankind by God through His servants. The Bible was a history book written in advance, so men of God would never have to be ignorant of Gods plan for their lives!

The prophet Amos stated this fact in Amos 3:7 under inspiration ofGod: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."

False prophets are not new to the church, but have always been used by Satan, even in the Old Testament to imitate God's real prophets. In the New Testament, Peter stated: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying theLord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)

The genuine way that God spoke to His people in the Old Testament is recorded also by Peter in 2 Peter 1:21. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

And the results of those inspired messages from God, spoken by His prophets were recorded in the Bible, for instruction to mankind to find salvation in Jesus Christ."

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable fordoctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction inrighteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughlyfurnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

Old Testament prophets primarily dealt with "future events", while the office of a New Testament prophet was different. The New Testament prophets, other than Jesus Christ, did not have the office of "forth telling" the future as did the Old Testament prophets, but instead, they had the authority to "foretell" events either as they were happening, or after they happened.

Also, there were different levels of authority of the prophets in the New Testament. The apostles had the most authority, and all held the office of a prophet, except Judas Iscariot, who was a false apostle.

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