The Office of a Prophet

By Robert Lewis

* Deuteronomy 13:1-5

PROPHET: OT HEBREW 5030. nabiy` {naw-bee’}; from 5012; a prophet or (generally) inspired man: -prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.

Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Deuteronomy 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

PRESUMPTUOUSLY: OT HEBREW 2087. zadown {zaw-done’}; from 2102; arrogance: -presumptuously, pride, proud (man).

PROPHECY: NT GREEK 4394. propheteia {prof-ay-ti’-ah}; from 4396 (“prophecy”); prediction (scriptural or other): -prophecy, prophesying.

  • To Foretell – to utter Previously UNRECORDED truths from God.

However, this is not the way Paul explained it: in I Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.

PROPHESY: NT GREEK 4395. propheteuo {prof-ate-yoo’-o}; from 4396; to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office: -prophesy. to forthtell

  • To Forthtell – To repeat PREVIOUSLY revealed truths from God.

PROPHET: NT GREEK 4396. prophetes {prof-ay’-tace}; from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller (“prophet”); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet: -prophet.

He made it the one gift that you should seek in verse I Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edifica­tion, and exhortation, and comfort.

To Paul, then, PROPHECY meant getting the Spirit’s help to speak for edifica­tion, exhortation and comfort. We may take this as the New Testament idea of preach­ing – Tis is not putting on a performance, but delivering a Spirit empowered message! But delivering a Spirit empowered message! This is not fore­telling of previously unre­vealed truths, but it is FORTHtelling of the old, old story! Another way to put it is to proclaim truth based upon the principles of the Word of God.

The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but rather glorifies the Son, so the false prophet either wittingly or unwittingly, directs all worship to himself, the “gifted person.” Somehow the idea that you must get their “blessing” is more important than understanding the Word of God. This is misleading and has led to may cultic practices.

PERFECT: NT GREEK 5046. teleios {tel’-i-os}; from 5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with 3588) completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.

GLORIFY: 1392. doxazo {dox-ad’-zo}; from 1391; to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application): -(make) glorify(-ious), full of (have) glory, honour, magnify.

It follows then that an “inspired man” in our day must teach that which God has revealed in His Word. He must not draw attention to himself, nor to his gift, but rather he must exalt the Lord Jesus Christ to the highest possible level of adoration.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

If prophecy means the miraculous predicting of the future, then it apparently did end with the completion of the Bible (I COR. 13:10).

I Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

“That which is perfect” (complete) is the infallible Word of God. Since it has come, ALL prophetic predictions which do not agree with it (The Bible) are false prophecies. Even the holy Spirit does not Glorify Himself! ALL prophets who do not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (The doctrine of Christ from the BIBLE) are false prophets!

II John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

2 Responses to The Office of a Prophet

  1. Jim says:

    What is the office of “prophet” in the local church? How does it differ from the office of pastor-teacher? Baptist pastors say that pastors and preachers are the prophets today, but can this be proven from the scriptures? If not, what is the role of a prophet in the church?

  2. Robert Lewis says:

    A “prophet” in a local church today is a forth-teller, not a foreteller. He brings forth that which has previously been revealed in the scriptures. He may be a powerful and prominent person, but if he adds to the Scriptures or takes away from them, he is a false prophet and should not be followed regardless of his gifts or personality. A Spirit-filled preacher who brings forth truth from the Word of God in a powerful way may be considered a “prophet” though he makes no “prophecies” which are not clearly revealed in the Bible.

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