What Is Prophecy? (Part 1)

Due to my post earlier this week, I thought I would revisit some basic thoughts and teaching around the gift of prophecy. I’ve done something like this before, but I thought I would break it up into shorter posts and bring a few additional thoughts in as needed. But I think it safe to conclude that more and more of the church has awakened to the fact that this gift is both available and needed in shaping the body of Christ today.

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Prophets Galore!

Not too long ago, I took some time and read a major portion of the Old Testament. Basically Genesis to 2 Chronicles. Not all in one day. Heavens no! But over a couple of months. It was good to read larger chunks, to get the sweeping history of the Hebrew people and God’s work amongst them.

But there was one thing that did catch me by surprise, especially as I read the books of Samuel and Kings.

You might have not noticed it before. And the thing is, I would have expected me to previously notice, since I’m the charismatic around here. Continue reading

Prophecy in the New Covenant, Part Two

This article continues the two-part series from my blogging colleague, Marv. It was originally posted at our continuationist blog, To Be Continued.

In part one I argue that a fundamental distinction of prophecy under the New Covenant is that it occurs within a prophetic community, where every regenerate individual has the ability to hear God’s voice for him/herself. At the people’s own request immediately following the Sinai lawgiving, God agrees henceforth to speak to them through an intermediary, and not directly. The people agreed in return to heed the prophet’s word as God’s. They would fail to do so, of course.  Nevertheless in Deut. 18:17, God calls this request a good one. Whether this represents His complete approval or merely acquiescence to their desire, He has something better for the Body of Christ, beginning with Pentecost.

This new thing, this better thing is the Spirit poured out on “all flesh,” every member of the redeemed community without distinction. All can hear God’s voice. Therefore, prophecies given within this prophetic community can be weighed (diakrino, 1 Cor. 14:29), and tested (dokimazo, 1 Thes. 5:21) by others, who also hear the Lord’s voice. Continue reading

Prophecy in the New Covenant, Part One

This two-part series was posted by my blogging colleague, Marv, over at our co-blog, To Be Continued. It was a good two-post blog and so I wanted to re-post it here as well.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

Sinai. Year One of the new Nation constituted by YHWH Himself, for His own purposes. Yesterday they were an ethnic group, an agglomeration of clans and tribes, united by common ancestry: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. In the incubator of Egyptian bondage they had been fruitful and multiplied. Then, through Moses, YHWH came to take them to Himself:

You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4 ESV)

They saw it for themselves. Continue reading

Haggai & Modern-Day Prophecy

Tucked away, near the end of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Christian Old Testament), we find a little prophet named Haggai. Well, he could have been a big prophet, but the words we have recorded were not as many as say an Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel, or Hosea or Zechariah for that matter. His words are important, just shorter.

Haggai (pronounced Hag-eye by Americans and Hag-ee-eye by Brits) was part of a post-exilic team that included at some point the main leadership of various people as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah and Malachi (some overlapping with one another).

I recently found myself reading Haggai. I had no plan to, but the Lord had been speaking to my wife out of one of the minor prophets and she decided to share with me the passage. When I asked where the passage was specifically found, she mistakenly told me Haggai, though it had actually been Zephaniah (to which I later found out when I didn’t come across the passage she had read out to me). So I found myself taking up the “2 chapters” of Haggai’s prophetic message to the Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon.

After I read through this short book, a few things came to me that I believe can teach us about prophecy today, meaning prophecy coming forth in these days, centuries after the formation of the biblical canon. It mainly sprang out of these few verses: Continue reading