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Discourse on What is Prophecy:

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by iris89, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. iris89

    iris89 Active Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Discourse on What is Prophecy:

    Many have stated this or that was prophesied by this or that person or group without understanding the difference between prophecy, and its difference from a group or individual who acts to guide a Christian group under the influence of the Holy Spirit, God's (YHWH's) active force or spirit. Sometimes these groups or individuals taking the lead are spoken of as "prophets" in a symbolic sense, but NOT in the real sense of being a true prophet and/or claiming to be such. Now let's examine what true prophecy is.

    True prophecy is an inspired message; a revelation of the divine will and purpose, for example the revelation given to the Apostle John that he wrote-up as the Book of Revelations or Apocalypse. Prophecy may be a prediction of something to come, inspired moral teaching, or an expression of a divine command or judgment. To be real prophecy and not just a prediction or indication, it must come from a deity through DIRECT revelation to an individual as was always the case in the Bible, the word of God (YHWH).

    The International Encyclopedia of the Bible describes true prophecy as, " The Seer and Speaker of God:
    According to the uniform teaching of the Bible the prophet is a speaker of or for God. His words are not the production of his own spirit, but come from a higher source. For he is at the same time, also, a seer, who sees things that do not lie in the domain of natural sight, or who hears things which human ears do not ordinarily receive; compare 1 Samuel 9:9, where nabhi', "speaker," and ro'eh, "seer," are used as synonymous terms. Jeremiah 23:16 and Ezekiel 13:2 f are particularly instructive in this regard. In these passages a sharp distinction is made between those persons who only claim to be prophets but who prophesy "out of their own heart," and the true prophets who declare the word which the Lord has spoken to them. In the latter case the contents of the prophecy have not originated in their own reflection or calculation; and just as little is this prophecy the product of their own feelings, fears or hopes, but, as something extraneous to man and independent of him, it has with a divine certainty entered the soul of the prophet. The prophet has seen that which he prophesies, although he need not have seen it in the form of a real vision. He can also "see" words with his inner eyes (Isaiah 2:1, and often). It is only another expression for this when it is frequently said that God has spoken to the prophet. In this case too it is not necessary that there must have been a voice which he could hear phonetically through his natural ear. The main thing is that he must have been able sharply to distinguish the contents of this voice from his own heart, i.e. from his personal consciousness. Only in this way is he capable of speaking to the people in the name of God and able to publish his word as that of Yahweh. In this case he is the speaker of Yahweh (nabhi'), or the mouth of the Lord (compare Ezekiel 7:1 with 4:16). Under these conditions he then regards it as absolute compulsion to speak, just as a person must be filled with fear when he hears a lion roar nearby (Amos 3:8). The words burn in his soul until he utters them (Jeremiah 20:7,9)." [source = International Encyclopedia of the Bible]

    The dictionary defines prophecy in the Biblical sense as, " An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will. b. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration. c. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing." [ETYMOLOGY: Middle English prophecie, from Old French, from Latin prophta, from Greek prophteia,] [source = The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright (c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company.]. As noted, real prophecy is by a direct revelation from a deity either by direct communication or revelation under divine inspiration; is NOT to be confused with what is sometimes spoken of as 'prophecy' in the symbolic or figurative sense such as a small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ who receive general direction in their activity from the Holy Spirit, but do NOT claim divine revelation or direct communication with a deity.

    Today some groups claim to have a prophet, oracle, and/or a leader who receives divine revelations under certain circumstances directly from a deity or by revelation; and these are prophets in the literal sense and/or claim to be. Good examples of those who claim to be prophets in the literal sense are/were Joseph Smith who claimed direct revelations from a deity as you will find recorded in the back of most versions of the Book of Mormon, and the Catholic Church who claims their pope receives revelations, ex Cathedra, or from the chair of Peter.

    There are other things such as mere predictions that some mistakenly take as prophecy, but fail to look at the caveats given with the predictions, for example, the head of the state lottery saying you can be a winner if you hold the winning ticket. These mistaken individuals just hear/read you can be a winner, but fail to pay heed to the caveat, if you hold the winning ticket. There are for example groups whose prophet(S) have declared emphatically the culmination of the end times on a very specific date without caveats; they are true prophets, how-be-it all of this type including the group several years ago that hid out in caves proved to be false prophets. On the other hand, many groups have made predictions, not prophecy, that it is possible that the culmination of the end times could possibly happen in a certain period of time providing certain caveats were meant. For example, the Watchtower Society has said such an event could possibly happen during certain time periods and that we are living in the time of the end, which is true, but ONLY IF VERY SPECIFIC CAVEATS WERE MENT. This is NOT prophecy, but indications or predictions that DEPEND on certain necessary caveats or criteria having been meant.

    To sum it all up, believe NOT any one who claims to be a true prophet of any flavor, i.e., prophet, pope, or oracle, if they give you a specific end date for the culmination of the end times instead of a possible indicated or predicted time period with caveats of necessary things that must occur first. These who give a specific date are always false prophets since even God's (YHWH's) own Son, Jesus (Yeshua) Christ did not know the date as he himself testified to at Matthew 24:36, " But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."(Authorized King James Bible; AV).

    Your Friend in Christ Iris89