The Prophet’s Voice (Part 6)
Jesus Christ spoke in four primary ways during His earthly Ministry: Teachings, Commands, Prophecies, and Prayers. Here are examples of each.
Teachings – “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:1-4)
Commands – “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.” (Matthew 10:5) “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.’ And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.” (Mark 1:25-28)
Prophecies – “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:1-3)
Prayers – “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:1-3)
Jesus is the Master Teacher, Commanding King, Chief Prophet, and Praying Servant. Whatever your spiritual gift, you can learn best how to serve God at the feet of His Son.
The Chief Prophet
Jesus Christ is the Chief Prophet of the Church. Studying how Jesus prophesied is a great way for a church prophet to learn how to serve God in that position. You might wonder how studying the Lord’s prophesies will help a church prophet since the charismata come from the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said about the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15
The Holy Spirit speaks the Words of Christ. Jesus had much more to say to His apostles, but they couldn’t bear them at that time. Jesus said that when the Spirit of Truth came, “He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.” The “spoken” Ministry of Jesus continues to this day through the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit. The goal of a church prophet is to speak the Words of Christ. They are not to speak on their own authority, but whatever they “hear” from the Spirit of Christ they will speak. Look at what the Apostle Paul said about the Word of Christ.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
Paul was so serious about the Words of Christ that he told Timothy to withdraw himself from anyone who would not listen to those Words.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
That’s strong language that should lead to strong action by Church leaders. Unfortunately, many in the Church today are deaf, weak, fearful, or just plain sinful. Church leaders have done a great disservice to the Lord of the Church by not obeying His clear teaching about how to deal with people who teach “otherwise” and do “not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ … From such withdraw yourself.” How much clearer could God be about this problem!
A church prophet should also be a “prophet of reconciliation.” That is the “Word” God has given us to preach.
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Jesus Christ came to earth to reconcile sinners to God. What is His example for us to follow? “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13) “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” (Matthew 11:19) “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
The calling of a church prophet is to preach the Gospel to the lost. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians about what happens when prophets speak during church meetings – “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25) When prophets prophesy, unbelievers will be convinced and convicted, the secrets of their hearts will be revealed to them, and they will worship God. That is prophetic reconciliation!
In our next study we will look at one of the most important aspects of a church prophet’s ministry – something the Church needs desperately.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Building Confidence Through Evidence
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”