Are all prophets?
Thoughts for Today:A lot has been taught and written about what a prophet may or may not be. There are a lot of varied opinions -- from those who like Isaiah, call down fire from heaven or chastise authority figures; and others who say that every pastor who preaches the Word of God is a prophet.
We know the ministry of the prophet has always played a vital role in God's communication to His people. A little research reveals there are over three hundred references to prophets in the Old Testament, and over one hundred fifty in the New Testament. In fact, Paul considers the role of the prophet to be second only to apostles. So what is a prophet? A prophet is God's spokesperson by which He gives His people specific instruction, warning, or correction. (Hosea 12:10: "I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.") The following is a partial list of the role of prophets:
Provide God's perspective on past and future events. (1 Kings 17:13: Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, "This is what the LORD says: 'Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD.'"
Anoint people for service. (1 Samuel 10:1: Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?")
Preach and teach the righteousness of God. (Acts 15:32: Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.)
Used by kings (and others) to inquire of God. (1 Kings 22:7: But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?")
The Greek word "propheteia" (prophecy) is defined by Vine's Expository Dictionary as "signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God." This originally applied to Old Testament prophets who predicted future events, but also came to be used to describe any messenger who was inspired by God. Which means it can apply to preachers (or anyone else in the church), provided they are speaking under the influence, direction and control of the Holy Spirit.
Questions to Ponder:The very foundation of the Lord's church is based upon the work of apostles and prophets. Have you allowed God to speak into your life through a prophetic word? Remember, a prophet's primary responsibility is not to foretell future events. It is to "speak forth the mind and counsel of God". Do you need to correct a path you've taken in your life? Who has God placed near you? Will you listen?