Standards of biblical prophecy, true and false prophets in the church today, and where we are in prophetical history

 
His Word
"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9b). A PROPHETIC MINISTRY
WITH
A PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE
 
 
 

Home


On-Line Books

Prophets And Prophecy

CONTENTS

The Abrahamic Covenant

        Land
        Descendants
        Blessing
                Personal, National And Global Promises

The Davidic Covenant
The New Covenant
“Prophet” First Use Reference
Prototype Prophecy
Prophetic Enactments
How God Communicates To His Prophets

        Visions, Dreams, Dark Sayings, Clear Statements
        Trance
        The Urim And Thummim, The Lot, Mercy Seat And Angels

Characteristics And Functions Of The Prophet

        Seer
        Prophet
        Watchman
        Intercessor
        Worshipper
        Messengers
        A Continuum
        Understanding Dreams And Visions
                Revelation
                Interpretation
                Application
        Authority Of The Prophet

Mentoring
Companies Of The Prophets
Sons Of The Prophets
Is Saul Also Among The Prophets?
Assessing Prophetic Value

        Altered States Of Consciousness
        Praise And Worship Music

God Is No Respecter Of Persons

        The Seventy Elders
        Balaam

God’s Prophets Prophesy By Faith
Scriptural Role Of Prophets
Prophecy In The New Testament
God’s Attributes, Abiding And Assignments

        Character
        Compassion
        Conscience
        Gifts
        Abiding of Holy Spirit, Father and Son
        The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
                Purpose Of The Holy Spirit Gift Of Prophecy
        The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
                Grace
                Mercy
                Purpose Of The Compassion Gift Of Prophecy
        The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
                Jesus, The Wisdom Of God
                         Impartation
                         Righteousness A Prerequisite
                         The Word Of Wisdom
        Jesus Exercises Judgement And Executes Justice
                         Judgement
                         Justice
                Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gift Of Prophecy
        Apostles And Prophets Are Both Sent

The Purpose Of Prophecy
The Purpose Of The Doma Ascension Gifts
Our Prophetic Standard

        Preach The Gospel To The Poor
        Heal The Brokenhearted
        Preach Deliverance To The Captives
        Recovering Of Sight To The Blind
        Set At Liberty Those That Are Bruised
        Preach The Acceptable Year Of The Lord
        Our Prophetic Commission

Where Are We In Prophetical History?

        First Dispensation
        Second Dispensation
        Third Dispensation
        Fourth Dispensation
        Repeating Cycles

False Prophets

        Every Believer Is Capable Of Being Deceived
        False Prophets Look And Sound Real
        False Prophets Are Well Received
        False Prophets Are Not Assessed, Accountable Or Disciplined
        False Prophets Will Tell You Exactly What You Want To Hear
        They Are Like Chameleons And Blend In With Their Environment
        They Love Attention And Credentials
        They Value Praise For Themselves
        They Are Rebellious
        False Prophets Are Numerous
        God Will Test You Through False Prophets

Biblical Prophetic Profile

        They Teach The Abrahamic, Davidic And New Covenants
        They Recognize Prophetic Protoypes And Enactments
        They Understand Godly Communication To Prophets
        They Understand God’s Training Of His Prophets
        They Refuse Human Credentials For Prophetic Credibility
        They Don’t Beat Their Own Drum
        They Don’t Discriminate
        They Speak From An Understanding Of God’s Heart
        They Fulfill God’s Purposes
        They Know Their Scriptural Function
        They Embrace Prophetic Standards And Commissions
        They Warn Against False Prophets
        True Prophets Are Few In Number


Prophets And Prophecy

The Abrahamic Covenant
        God made promises to Abraham in His covenant with him. In this case it is a promissory or unilateral covenant, or unconditional.
        I will refer to Abram as Abraham, as his name was changed by God in Genesis 17:5 from Abram meaning “‘high or exalted father” to Abraham “father of a multitude.”
        Genesis 12:1-4:
        1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
        2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
        3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
        4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
  Land
        In verse 1, Abraham was promised land, specifically Canaan, as shown to Abraham in Genesis 13:12-17.
        Genesis 13:12-17:
        12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
        13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
        14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
        15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
        16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
        17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
        A similar promise is made to his offspring, Isaac, Abraham’s only son by his wife Sara (Genesis 26:2-4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15). Isaac was the father of Jacob and Esau.
  Descendants
        In verse 2 God promises to make of Abraham a great nation. This is further explained in Genesis 13:16: “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” This promise is also given to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:14).
        In addition to the land of Caanan, Abraham is promised “seed” or descendants who will make a great nation.
  Blessing
        God also promised Abraham that “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” In verse 3 God states a condition for being blessed by Abraham in that He will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. God also states that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
    Personal, National And Global Promises
        The covenant with Abraham, as we see from scripture, involves three aspects: land, specifically the land of Caanan; “seed,” or descendants that would become a great nation; and blessing in the sense of being blessed and being a blessing.
        This can be understood as being a personal promise (the land of Caanan), a national promise (seed, or descendants who would become a great nation), and a global promise (all families of the earth shall be blessed).
        This covenant is restated, or confirmed to Abraham in Genesis 15:1-21, 17:4-21, 22:15-18. It is also confirmed to Isaac in Genesis 26:3-5,24 and to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15, 35:9-12.
        Keep in mind that this is an unconditional, or promissory, or unilateral covenant which will be fulfilled by God and is not dependent upon what Abraham and/or his seed, or descendants, do or don’t do.
The Davidic Covenant
        The land aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is clearly stated in Genesis 13:12-17.
        The “seed” aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is further expanded upon by the Davidic covenant.
        In 2 Samuel 23:5 David said: “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” In this verse he is referring to what Nathan the prophet said to him in 2 Samuel, chapter 7. Verses 12-16 of that chapter read:
        12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
        13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
        14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
        15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
        16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
        Confirmation of the Davidic covenant is found in Psalms 89:3-4,28; 1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 13:5, 21:7.
        It’s clear from scripture that the throne of David’s kingdom is forever, i.e., eternal.
        2 Samuel: 7:13,16:
        13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
        16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
        This confirms God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:6: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”
        The totality of Abraham’s “descendants” will come into a fullness in the new heavens and new earth, if not the millennium.
The New Covenant
        The blessing aspect of the Abrahamic covenant is expanded upon by the New Covenant which is stated in Jeremiah 31. In this New Covenant, God internalizes the Mosaic law in His people. He establishes a different, new relationship with His people “for they shall know me” “... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” as stated in verse 34.
        Jesus had said in John 16:7: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (See also John 14:16-18, 26; John 15:26). The death of Jesus opened the way for the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to abide (live) in us and to teach us, in the same way that Jesus lived with and taught His disciples. This explains and fulfills the statement in Jeremiah 31:34 “for they shall know me.”
        The New Covenant became effective upon the death of Jesus as stated in Matthew 26:28: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Also Luke 22:20: “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”)
        In the same way this fulfilled the statement “... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” in Jeremiah 31:34.
        Throughout these covenants and their promises we must realize the scriptural truth that Israel is the vehicle through which they will all be fulfilled.
        Despite the problems God has had with the disobedience of the nation of Israel, He will fulfill His promises for the sake of His name.
        Ezekiel 36:22-23:
        22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
        23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
        The entire chapter of Ezekiel 36 describes the fruition of God’s promises to Israel.
“Prophet” First Use Reference
        This short study of the Abrahamic covenant gives us valuable information and insight relative to God’s prototype, or archetype of a prophet, first mentioned in Genesis 20:7.
        First, God sovereignly chose Abraham and told him to leave his home, his family and his fathers house and go to an unknown land. He then promised him a specific area of land, many descendants, and that he would be blessed and would be a blessing.
        When Abraham obeyed God, it provided a model of faith for his future descendants.
        Galatians 3:6-9:
        6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
        7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
        8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
        9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
        Galatians 4:28: “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
        Hebrews 11:8-9:
        8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
        9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
        Unger’s Bible Dictionary makes this comment about Abraham: “The spiritual experience of Abraham was marked by four far-reaching crises in which his faith was tested, and which, in each case, called forth the surrender of something naturally most dear to him: first, his giving up country and kindred (Genesis 12:1); second, his breaking off with his nephew, Lot, particularly close to Abraham by virtue of kinship as a fellow believer and possible heir (Genesis 13:1-18); third, the abandonment of his own cherished plans for Ishmael and his being called upon to center his hope in the promise of the birth of Isaac (Genesis 17:17-18); fourth, the supreme test of his mature life of faith in his willingness to offer up Isaac, his only son, whom he loved passionately and in whom all his expectations centered (Genesis 22:1-19; Hebrews 11:17,18).”
        God then made a series of prophetical promises to Abraham, in the form of a covenant which included land, descendants, and blessings.
        We have seen in our short study that the land promise still stands. We see the descendant or “seed” aspect expanded upon by the Davidic covenant, and how the blessing aspect is expanded upon by the New Covenant.
        What’s the big picture here? What’s the broad overview? It can be summed up in one word. Redemptive. To redeem mankind, via the instrumentality of the nation of Israel, and restore them back into a righteous relationship with their Creator and God.
        It all started with one man, Abraham. A man whose faith was sorely tested, a man to whom land, descendants, and blessings were irrevocably and prophetically promised. A man with frailties, weaknesses and faults just like you and I. This man, Abraham, is the first person in the Bible that is identified as a prophet. In biblical terminology, this is called the “first use” or first reference, to which much importance is assigned, as it is the archetype of those that follow in the footsteps, in this instance, of a prophet.
        You and I, as a prophetic people, will also have our faith sorely tested. But as the biblical seed of Abraham, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29) ... as the seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise, we also have the promise of the land, the descendants and the blessings.
        Those are promises from God to us that cannot be cancelled out by anything we do or anything we don’t do. They will continue to stand forever. Don’t misunderstand me: from what I understand from scripture, you can remove yourself from the loop if you are really bound and determined to do so. But it won’t be easy. And the promises still stand regardless of what you do.
        God has already fulfilled His promise about the blessings through Jesus. God’s law is in our inward parts, in our hearts, He has forgiven our iniquity, and remembers our sin no more. We know God because we have His Holy Spirit, our sins have been remitted and the promised King of Davidic lineage reigns in our hearts. And as your faith is sorely tested, you continue to follow Abraham’s example.
        You, as Abraham’s seed and inheritors of the promise, are also commissioned to speak prophetical promises to an unsaved world so that they can also become Abraham’s seed and inherit the promises and walk Abraham’s walk of faith.
        The full revelation of the Davidic covenant, i.e., Jesus Christ as our King, is something that we still look forward to. In the same way, we await the full possession of the promised land.
        The biblical record of “first use” or “first reference” of “prophet” brings us to Genesis 20:1-18. A study of these verses exposes human frailties which obviously should not be interpreted as being mandatory requirements of a prophet, but instead offers us a revelation of the love, grace and mercy of our Creator.
        1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
        2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
        In verse 2, Abraham lied.
        3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
        4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
        Abraham’s lie endangered the life of another.
        5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
        Sarah confirms Abraham’s lie as being the truth.
        6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
        7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
        Abraham’s lie also endangered the lives of many others, including his promised seed. See also Genesis 12:1-3; 17:20-22; 18:9-14.
        God declares Abraham, who lied, to be a prophet. This probably saved Abraham from being killed by Abimelech.

        8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
        9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
        10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
        11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.
        Abraham displayed a lack of trust in God.
        12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
        Abraham rationalized his reasons for lying.
        13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
        Abraham states that he has a lifestyle of lying. See also Genesis 12:10-20.
        14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
        15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
        16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
        Abraham’s lie costs another man property and money.
        17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
        Abraham speaks to God for man.
        18 For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.
        Abraham’s lie prevented life in another man’s family.
        Summary
:
  • In this biblical “first reference” to a human prophet we see that prophets can, and will, lie, sometimes as a habitual practice. See also:
        Genesis 12:10-20, where Abraham had told the same lie to Pharaoh.
        1 Kings 13 (the old prophet)–In verse 18 the old prophet said “... an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord ...” He did not say “... the word of the Lord came unto me ...” Why this peculiar phraseology? The word “angel” can also be translated as “messenger” which could refer to his own sons who told him about the young prophet in verse 11. The object lesson of this story is to do that which God has told you to do, not what someone tells you to do based upon some other authority.
        1 Kings 22:1-40 (Micaiah)–In defense of Micaiah it may well be that he spoke mockingly in verse 15, particularly in view of verse 14. However, there is a problem in that if the king had not rebuked the prophet for lying, then it would have stood as a true word from God.
  • Others may confirm a prophet’s lies as being true.
  • Prophets will rationalize why they lie.
  • A prophet’s lies can endanger the lives of the person, their families, their ability to bring life and will cost the property and money of those who receive the prophet’s lie.
  • Prophets are not always right in what they think and what they say. See also:
        Numbers 12 (Miriam and Aaron)–In verses 1 and 2, Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses’ authority as sole spokesperson for God.
        1 Samuel 10:24–Here Samuel apparently was caught up in the emotionalism of the people and declared that the Lord had chosen Saul to be king. In fact, in Chapter 8, God told Samuel that the people had rejected Him (God) as their King, and equated it with forsaking Him to serve other Gods. God then gave the people a solemn warning of the undesirable consequences of having a human king.
        1 Samuel 16:1-13–Samuel, at God’s commission, went to Jesse to anoint one of his sons as king. Verse 6 reads: “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But God corrects him in verse 7: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” In verse 12, the selection is made when David is sent for: “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
        2 Samuel 7:1-17–1 Chronicles 17 1-15 (Nathan)–When Nathan the prophet said to David “... do all that is in thine heart ...” and “... for the Lord (God) is with thee ...” He spoke his own heart, and not the heart of the Father, Who corrected Nathan and instructed him to tell David that one of his sons would build a house for God to dwell in.
        2 Kings 4:29-32–Elisha thought that he could impart power to his staff that would bring the Shunammite woman’s child back to life for whatever reason. However, it took prayer to God and the physical presence of Elisha to accomplish that.
  • Prophets can have a lack of trust in God. See also:
        Genesis 12:10-20 where some 20 or 25 years earlier Abraham had told the same lie to Pharaoh and apparently still had not developed trust toward God.
        Matthew 27:46–Mark 15:35 (Jesus)–Jesus, the consummate prophet, in His suffering on the cross, felt He had been forsaken by the Father and the Holy Spirit.
  • Prophets not only speak to man God’s mind and counsel, they also intercede to God for man. In this instance, he prayed to God for healing. See also:
        Genesis 18:16-33 (Abraham)–Beginning in verse 24, Abraham the prophet (but not as yet identified as such), intercedes to God for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
        Exodus 32:11-14 (Moses)–Moses the prophet intercedes with God to spare the destruction of God’s people.
        Numbers 12 (Moses)–Moses the prophet intercedes for God to heal Miriam’s leprosy, which God had put upon her.
        Daniel 9:3-19 (Daniel)–Daniel the prophet prays to God for forgiveness of the peoples’ sins.
        John 17 (Jesus)–Jesus prays to the Father for Himself, His disciples and all believers.
        James 5:16-18 (re: Elijah)–Elijah the prophet prayed that it would not rain and later he prayed for rain.
        You and I, saints, as a prophetical people, are subject to the same problems in our flesh. That’s why God made a record of Abraham and his problems and documented it throughout the Bible.
        Abraham’s functions as a prophet were prayer, (Genesis 12:8; 13:1-4, 18) intercession (Genesis 18:23-32) and healing (Genesis 20:17,18). Note that he did not, as a prophet, verbally proclaim God’s will and purpose, rather his lifestyle, which included his human frailties, was the fulfillment of God’s prophetical promises to him, and to us, his seed.
        As the first named prophet in the Bible, Abraham also spoke prophetically of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
        Abraham said in Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
        The Net Bible translates Genesis 22:8 as:
        “22:8 “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.”
        The Net Bible comment on the verse reads: “20 Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”
        “God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.”
        The Amplified Bible’s comment on Genesis 22:8:
        “We must not suppose that this was the language merely of faith and obedience. Abraham spoke prophetically, and referred to that Lamb of God which HE had provided for Himself, Who in the fullness of time would take away the sin of the world, and of Whom Isaac was a most expressive type (Clarke’s Commentary). For Abraham was a prophet (Gen. 20:7). Jesus said, Abraham hoped for “My day [My incarnation]; and he did see it, and was glad” (John 8:56).”
        John 8:56 KJV (mentioned above): “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”
        Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on John 8:56:
        “56. Abraham rejoiced to see my day, &c.—exulted, or exceedingly rejoiced that he should see, he exulted to see it, that is, by anticipation. Nay,
        “he saw it, and was glad—he actually beheld it, to his joy. If this mean no more than that he had a prophetic foresight of the gospel-day—the second clause just repeating the first—how could the Jews understand our Lord to mean that He “had seen Abraham?” And if it mean that Abraham was then beholding, in his disembodied spirit, the incarnate Messiah [STIER, ALFORD, &c.], the words seem very unsuitable to express it. It expresses something past—“he saw My day, and was glad,” that is, surely while he lived. He seems to refer to the familiar intercourse which Abraham had with God, who is once and again in the history called “the Angel of the Lord,” and whom Christ here identifies with Himself. On those occasions, Abraham “saw ME” (OLSHAUSEN, though he thinks the reference is to some unrecorded scene). If this be the meaning, all that follows is quite natural.”
        The biblical accounts of Abraham and John the Baptist are remarkable in that Abraham is the first Old Testament prophet and John the Baptist is the last Old Testament prophet. They both personally saw Jesus and they both prophesied that God would provide a Lamb—Jesus— Who would, in God’s timing, take away the sin of the world.
        John 1:29,36:
        29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
        36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
        The message of each embodies the truth of the statement “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (King James Version) (Revelation 19:10.)
        The phrase in the King James Version “that have the testimony of Jesus” could alternatively be translated as “who hold to what Jesus testifies.” One translation reads: “... Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Or to put it another way, the spirit of prophecy is the testimony about Jesus.
        In addition to this testimony about Jesus we have to also consider the clear teachings of Jesus Himself. As the Amplified Bible says: “... the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus ...” We could modify that to mean the substance and essence of the truth revealed by and about Jesus.
        Excerpted from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary:
        “ABRAHAM—In the New Testament, Abraham is presented as the supreme model of vital faith and as the prime example of the faith required for the Christian believer (Gal. 3:6-9; 4:28). He is viewed as the spiritual father for all who share a similar faith in Christ (Matt. 3:9; Luke 13:16; Rom. 11:1).”
        “JOHN THE BAPTIST—Jesus said of John, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). He was the last and greatest of the prophets (Matt. 11:13-14). Nevertheless, he stood, like Moses, on the threshold of the Promised Land. He did not enter the kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus; and consequently, “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt. 11:11).”
        Matthew 11:10-14:
        10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
        11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
        12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
        13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
        14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Prototype Prophecy
        Looking to the prototype prophecy in scripture presents some things which have to be considered. The first words spoken in the Bible are by God Himself in Genesis 1:3: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
        These very first words reveal to us the creative prophetic power of God and also that light is to be desired and is a good thing as stated in verse 4: “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
        We also see a clear division, or distinction of light from darkness. The natural ramifications of this fact are apparent. The spiritual application is also understood.
        The first Messianic prophecy was also by God in Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
        Again, the natural and spiritual application is also clear. The seed of the woman, Jesus, will bruise the head of satan, and the heel of Jesus will be bruised.
        We see in these two utterances by God that light is established as a good thing and that Jesus, Who is the light of the world, will overcome the lordship of the god of this world and establish Himself as King of kings and Lord of lords.
        Understanding this in the light of prophetical utterance helps us to understand the purpose of prophecy as stated in Revelation 19:10: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
        The Amplified Bible translates the last part of this verse as: ... “For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy — the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose [including both mine and yours].”
        We see reinforcement of the command to worship God in Revelation 22:9: “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
        From this we see that “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus” in Revelation 19:10 corresponds to “and of thy brethren the prophets” in Revelation 22:9. And that these prophets have not only the testimony, or truth, revealed by Jesus, but that they also worship God, are fellow servants, and keep the sayings [Greek: logos] of the “book,” here speaking specifically of the book of Revelation.
        Based upon this we see that the light and lordship of Jesus, the truth revealed by Jesus, the worship of God, being fellow servants, and strictly adhering to the word of God are concepts to be included in the prototype prophecy as revealed in scripture.
        In addition to this we cannot ignore the fact that Enoch is also called a prophet. As the seventh from Adam, this would place him in the position of being the first prophet in the Bible (after God Himself). However, because He is not specifically referenced as a prophet in Genesis, but in the next to the last book in the Bible (Jude), it’s apparent God has a reason for this. But I think it would be wise to consider him when attempting to extract a prototype prophecy.
        Jude 1:14-16:
        14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
        15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
        16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
        This introduces the theme of judgement from God into our assessment of the prototype prophecy.
        So, in addition to the light and lordship of Jesus, the truth revealed by Jesus, the worship of God, being fellow servants, and adhering to the word of God, we must add the element of God’s judgement for failure to strictly adhere to those things. All of which are concepts to be included in the prototype prophecy as revealed in scripture.
        When we consider that prophetic utterance is speaking the mind and counsel of God, and includes teaching repentance and preaching righteousness to bring healing and restoration it helps us to focus on specifics. The specifics of the light, lordship and truth revealed by Jesus, the importance of worshipping God, being fellow servants, strictly adhering to the word of God, and coming Godly judgement upon all.
        To be clear, the phrase “the testimony of Jesus” does not refer to what Jesus testified. It refers to what is testified about Him. (See Revelation 1:2,9; 12:17).
        Now comes the acid test: In the prophetic utterances you hear today, a simple criteria is to ask: where is Jesus in all of this? How does this word reveal things that are stated in scripture about Jesus? How does this word reveal the essence of the truth that Jesus lived and taught?
        If you will read and study your Bible and can identify that which speaks about Jesus and can understand what the Bible says concerning Jesus and if you can identify and understand what Jesus taught by His lifestyle and His teachings then you will be able to identify true and false prophecy.
        Jesus did not teach about the various “movements” we have seen within the past several or more years. Therefore when you read a word that mentions that “movement” you know it is not of God. Jesus did not teach about prophets being hatched out of golden eggs by angels. Jesus did not promote one man-made movement over another. He did not even faintly suggest that one human being of His ekklesia had authority over and control of another saints’ life and family.
        Jesus did not teach that He would take away His gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds as teachers to His ekklesia and restore them in the last days. Jesus did not teach that His functional gifts of those teachers to the body of Christ are “offices” of authority and power. Jesus wants His ekklesia to mature and grow up. Why would He take away the functional gifts needed for that purpose?
        But ... don’t you grown up men and women know that