I love the Bible and, even more, what God did in history as it is accounted for in these books. From both the Old and the New Testaments, one aspect that seems relevant is the area of the Prophetic.  Sam Storms writes that;

“Prophecy is always the communication of something the Holy Spirit has “revealed,” or disclosed to a person.”

Lots of people find the Old Testament Prophets fascinating, including myself. In the Old Testament, God communicates His definite will via the medium of the Prophetic. In the New dispensation, can we still expect God to move and speak this way? I believe so, yes. I have written here about false Prophets and the dangers associated with those trying to be impressive. But let me give you a few reasons why the Prophetic still matters. For a quick overview of the standard by which Prophets and the Prophetic should adhere, click the following link.

Recently, I spoke to a friend who had three objections to modern-day Prophets. He said if they are young (he did not say how young?), or if they have money, or if they seem that all they do is Prophecy, we have a problem. Now, in this article, I am definitely not going to attempt to tell you why all three of these supposed disqualifications simply will not work. All I want to do is show you why the Prophetic still matters. Reformed pastor Charles Spurgeon accounted for the Prophetic ministry in his autobiography (Volume. 2, Pg. 226-227) and added this story:

“I could tell as many as a dozen similar cases in which I pointed at somebody in the hall without having the slightest knowledge of the person, or any idea that what I said was right, except that I believed I was moved by the Spirit to say it; and so striking has been my description, that the persons have gone away, and said to their friends, “Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did; beyond a doubt, he must have been sent of God to my soul, or else he could not have described me so exactly.” And not only so, but I have known many instances in which the thoughts of men have been revealed from the pulpit. I have sometimes seen persons nudge their neighbours with their elbow, because they had got a smart hit, and they have been heard to say, when they were going out, “The preacher told us just what we said to one another when we went in at the door.”

The prophetic still matters for several reasons. First and foremost, the prophetic provides a way for people to connect with a sense of higher purpose and meaning in their lives. By offering insights and guidance that extend beyond our immediate circumstances, the prophetic can help us to envision a better future and work towards its realization. Additionally, the prophetic can serve as a voice of conscience and a check against injustice and oppression. Prophets throughout history have spoken out against systems of power that exploit and harm marginalized communities, often at great personal risk. By calling attention to these injustices, the prophetic can inspire collective action toward creating a more just and equitable society.

Furthermore, the prophetic can help us to cultivate a deeper sense of empathy and compassion for others. By challenging us to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us, the prophetic can break down the barriers that separate us and promote greater understanding and solidarity. Overall, the prophetic still matters because it provides a powerful framework for connecting with our deepest values and aspirations, for promoting social justice and equality, and for fostering a more empathetic and interconnected world. There are several biblical arguments for the continuation of the prophetic, including:

  1. The promise of the Holy Spirit: In the book of Acts, Jesus promises his disciples that they will receive the Holy Spirit, who will empower them to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). This promise is fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in other languages (Acts 2:1-4). This event is seen as the beginning of the Christian church, and the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit is seen as a key component of its continued existence and mission.
  2. The gift of prophecy: In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes that the gift of prophecy is one of several spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the building up of the church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). He goes on to encourage the Corinthians to eagerly desire the gift of prophecy and to use it for the common good (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).
  3. The example of the prophets: Throughout the Old Testament, God speaks through prophets who are called to deliver messages of judgment, comfort, and hope to his people. These prophets are seen as essential messengers of God’s will, and their words are often recorded in scripture for future generations to learn from and be inspired by.
  4. The promise of a new covenant: In the book of Jeremiah, God promises to establish a new covenant with his people, one in which his law will be written on their hearts and they will all know him (Jeremiah 31:31-34). This promise is seen as fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the church is seen as a continuation of this new covenant relationship.

Overall, the biblical arguments for the continuation of the prophetic are rooted in the belief that God is still actively at work in the world, and that the Holy Spirit continues to empower and guide believers in their mission to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to build up his church. In the New Testament, believers are encouraged to seek and value the prophetic as a means of building up the church and discerning God’s will. Here are a few examples:

  1. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5: In this passage, the apostle Paul encourages believers to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, because it strengthens, encourages, and comforts the church. He contrasts the gift of prophecy with the gift of speaking in tongues, arguing that prophecy is more valuable because it can be understood by everyone and promotes mutual edification.
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22: In this passage, Paul instructs the Thessalonian believers not to quench the Spirit, but to test everything and hold fast to what is good. This suggests that believers should be open to the work of the Holy Spirit, including the prophetic, but also exercise discernment and test the authenticity of prophetic words.
  3. Ephesians 4:11-13: In this passage, Paul describes various roles within the church, including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. He explains that these roles exist to equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the body of Christ until we all attain the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.

Overall, while the New Testament does not provide a detailed roadmap for seeking and discerning the prophetic, it does encourage believers to value the gift of prophecy and to exercise discernment in testing and evaluating prophetic words and the Prophet’s character. Here is an interesting document detailing some of the concerns of the Prophetic and how to maintain balance: PROPHETIC STANDARDS STATEMENT. Let me know in the comment section if you want to add anything else about the Prophetic or your experience with a Prophet. Be blessed, and hope to hear from you. 

Pastor Rudolph