Yeshua came to fulfill the law
Q. There are many today who claim to be prophets. Could you explain what a prophet is and how can you tell the real ones from the false?
This is a very important question, especially in the last days when the Scriptures warn us that there will be many false prophets.
I’m going to give a detailed answer and describe who and what a biblical prophet is.
This will take several weeks but I want you and other readers to have it for yourself so you can keep a copy handy to go over from time to time.
This week we will start with the definition and purpose of a prophet.
Next we will look at their function and what do they do and how they serve the believer and a congregation.
After that we will discuss their calling, preparation, training and the distinguishing marks of one being called into this function.
Then we will talk about the Old and New Testament prophets and their similarities and differences, the tests of a true prophet from the false.
And lastly, how do the prophets fit today and how they relate to biblical prophecy and the coming of the Messiah.
All of these areas will overlap somewhat.
The word "prophet" in Hebrew is "navi" and it means a spokesman.
The word does not describe who he is but what he does.
He is to hear a word from the Lord and to speak exactly what the Lord tells him and to whoever God sends him to.
The Word can come in the many different ways God speaks to man and this has been discussed in previous articles.
There were Old Testament prophets and there are New Testament prophets.
The main function of a prophet is to be an interpreter of the word.
Deut 13.1-5 says that what he says and teaches should be in line with the Scriptures or what God has clearly said. Isa 8.20 says that the people should check out what people say according the Law and the Testimony, which is another way of saying the prophets.
Yeshua came not to destroy the Law, or misinterpret it, but to fulfill it, which literally means to interpret it correctly.
The Bereans in the Book of Acts checked out everything the Apostle Paul taught by the Scriptures and they were considered more noble than the rest.
So, the function of a prophet is to interpret the Word of the Lord and then to speak and teach it to whoever God sends them to.
Now, there is a difference between and watchman and a shepherd. When one had a flock of sheep, some served as watchmen and others shepherds.
The watchmen usually were perched high above the shepherd fields, alone, and they looked for danger. If they saw danger coming, they warned the shepherds. The shepherds then protected their sheep. The watchmen did not deal with the sheep directly because the sheep did not know their voice.
The sheep follow their shepherd. In the spiritual realm it’s the same way. The prophets are often warned by the Lord or advised by Him concerning something and they were often times sent to the kings, leaders or shepherds for the word to be disseminated among the people because the sheep know the shepherds voice and trust him (Amos 3.6-8).
Yeshua did this also but many times appealed to the people directly because He said many times that they were "sheep without shepherds." So a prophet is called by God, it is not something you inherited like the function of a priest or a king. It is not something you can desire to be, it is entirely up to the Lord who His prophets are.
A prophet in many ways is an "enabler" because he ,too, has fallen. They are servants of the Lord, first of all, and they are to speak and interpret the Word that they hear. So, his main purpose is more "forth-telling" than "foretelling" although the Lord may have him give a word concerning future events. They see the vision and listen and speak for God (Exo 7.1).
They admonish, reprove, warn, direct and intercede to prevent or soften events. They teach through direct interpretation or parables. The prophet Samuel had a school for the Prophets. They are counselors and are ahead in the vision. They will be hidden ,for the most part, and they may stand a little apart from others.
They are like an iceberg where they are seen in part but there is more to them than meets the eye, and they have depth. Next week we will pick up with the function of a prophet.