Many Christian leaders today claim to be prophets or to have the gift of prophecy. In many African cities you may feel inferior if your church doesn’t have a resident prophet. Prophets are forever sharing the visions and messages they have apparently received from God. The increase in the phenomena of prophecy is to a large decree caused by the decrease of sound biblical knowledge and spiritual maturity. What does the Bible says about prophecy1?
1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. Feminists detest this passage and try to make it mean something that it doesn’t mean. Chauvinists have wrongly understood this passage to mean male superiority and supremacy. We know of course that the Bible teaches that men and women are both created equally in the Image of God and worthy of respect and dignity. Boko Haram’s insistence that girls should not be educated and are in some sense lesser than boys is totally unacceptable and demonic. This passage teaches us a few things:
Last weekend my wife and I went shopping and we noticed a new children’s game called, “Fortune Telling Fun”. The makers of the game probably think it’s just a bit of fun, but it’s really not. The Bible prohibits all unauthorised or illegitimate communication with the supernatural, spiritual world; whether through fortune tellers, the occult or modern-day mediums because of the tremendous danger involved. Little attention is paid to the Bible’s warnings today. In African Traditional Religion many visit the witchdoctor or sangoma who communicates with the spirits and ancestors. Many people today claim to receive messages from the spirit world and angels, then write books about it. Even some Christians claim to receive “words” from God which they in turn relate to other unsuspecting believers. All throughout history people have sought to communicate with the spirit-world in order to receive guidance, help and advice.
There seems to be a renewed interest in the more “supernatural” spiritual gifts among evangelicals. Mark Driscoll, who calls himself a “charismatic with a seat-belt”, is no doubt a contributing factor. I have recently posted about healing, miraculous gifts and speaking in tongues. What remains is prophecy1.
Prophecy in the Old Testament
Deuteronomy 18:18 describes the role of a prophet like this,
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”
This gives us a clear definition of prophetic ministry. God put His own words in the prophet’s mouth. The prophet was moved by God and spoke the very words of God to the people of God. From Moses to Malachi, God spoke to his people through the prophets by their spoken and written word, publicly and privately.