Summary: I beleive we need the gift of prohecy above all others in these times, for worshiping in spirit and trurth, for building the church up, fro bringing the holy fire to burn away the dross and to unleash rivers of living waters to our dying nations too peopl
So what is a prophet?
To many people the term prophets conjures up a vision of an weathered haggard person with a more than slightly, no very wild look in their eyes. Someone who is weird sitting at the back of the church with a crazy look?
Even perhaps an old lady sitting in a with a crystal ball?
What do you think when you hear these words from Corinthians, what is this gift of prophesy?
Is it telling the future, just think how full our churches would be every week if a prophet stood up and gave next weeks lottery numbers out, there be queues and never ending sermons on tithing.
No prophecy is not crystal ball gazing or just telling the future, though God might share a vision or lead one who is prophesying to speak of things yet to be, to warn people perhaps to get right with God while they still can.
Which if the prophet is hearing from God is not to surprising as God does not exist in the same time constrains as us and knows the future as well as the past.God does not exisit in time, thats for creatures and created ones like you and me.
For me a good starting point to answer the question “So what is a prophet” is a prophet is a messenger they hear from God and share that message and leave those hearing to respond, lets start with this definition.
A prophet is a messenger: They speak on behalf of God and leave the message for the recipients to respond to. They often leave the interpretation to the hearers as well.
They might start with “So say’s the Lord…” but that might also be a sign that they are speaking and not the Lord so prophecy always should be tested.
So do we need prophets at all – we do have the Bible?
You could ask do we need prophets to hear from God, after all we do have the Bible the word of God.
Very true the two are not independent, prophecy should always be tested and the key reference standard is the true word of God, the Bible.
No one claiming to be uttering prophecy should be operating outside of the framework defined and spelt out in the words of the Bible.
In fact much of the Bible is based upon prophecy, great prophets like Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah the so called major prophets and the host of minor ones (you tell them when you get to heaven), are found in the old testament.
These prophets had a common theme, which was usually directed towards the nation of Israel and went along the lines “Get right with God or God will turn from you to show you what life is like without him” more often than not the nation of Israel ignored the prophets or worse turned on them and maimed them, imprisoned them even killing most of them.
You get the picture that prophets are not popular, they tell of truths that usually point to the areas that a person or a people are not right with God, not comfortable with hearing about. These are usually people whom feel they are right and do not appreciate being told differently.
So here is another definition of a prophet to consider they are driven by God to help people get right with God.
If you like the gift of prophecy enables those blessed to see others as God sees them in love to help them be what God knows they can be to help the treasure shine out from the crack earthen ware jar.
What need for the gift of prophecy?
I do believe one of the key out workings of the gift of prophecy is just that, its a passion to seeing people getting right with God, getting to a place were they can experience God, experience his love and presence in a purity, cleansed from sin and cleansed from all that separates man from God.
Basically helping people to live lives that glorify God, being fully alive for God to please and serve God.
So you can see the potential for tension, people wanting to serve themselves and their selfish ways , their religious ways and then along comes one who says that’s not a good way to be, your not right with God and so it is.
This is the biblical role of prophets basically telling of the things that are not pleasing God and pointing to the ways that do please God.
So prophecy is never self serving it is always God serving and striving to please God and bring glory to God.
Prophecy is not about individual gain but about helping others to gain their potential fullness in God even if that means holding a mirror up too them to show them how God is seeing them or how they are less than a fragrance to him.