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Children of the Prophets

on Apr 25, 2008 | Mike |

In Acts 3:25 Peter referred to Israelites as "children of the prophets." Surely he chose this wording because the Jews owed their spiritual existence to the ministry of the prophets who had spoken unto them in the name of the Lord. They could easily trace their spiritual heritage back to those who flowed in the prophetic: Enoch, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and a host of others who all heard from God and imparted their insights to God's covenant nation. These oracles of God "begat" in Abraham's seed a revelation of the truth…becoming spiritual "fathers" to the people of God.

We who are born again can also trace our heritage back to the prophets. We have all rejoiced with the first recorded prophet, Enoch, that "the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 1:14). We have wept with Job and then shouted "I know my Redeemer lives" (Job 19:25).

We have walked with Abraham and learned to be "strong in faith, giving glory to God." We have embraced the laws of God flowing through Moses and asked God to write them in our hearts. We have all been emboldened by the boldness of Joshua and soared to prophetic heights with Isaiah.

So we, too, qualify to be called "the children of the prophets," and for an even more profound reason: Jesus was spoken of in Scripture as being a prophet (See Dt. 18:15, 18, Jn. 6:14, Ac. 3:22) He never prophesied as far as we know by saying "Thus says the Lord," but everything He said was prophetic. He even claimed, "he words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who wells in Me . . . " (Jn. 14:10) Without a doubt, we are Jesus' offspring. Therefore, because children inherit the nature of their parents, it is only expected that we inherit Jesus' prophetic nature. Many of us may never give a direct prophetic utterance preceded by the statement "Thus says the Lord," or receive a prophetic dream, but we can flow in the prophetic Word every day of our lives.

What is prophecy?—Amos 3:8 declares "A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?" In other words, when God speaks, either by the written Word or the living Word, those who hear with their hearts are compelled to echo prophetically with their mouths what they know to be true. Therefore, to prophesy is to declare the Word of God under the inspiration and influence of the Holy Spirit. (See 2 Peter 1:16-21) This should always be done for "edification, exhortation and comfort." (I Cor. 14:3-5)

On the highest level prophesying may include predictions concerning the future or supernaturally known insights about people's lives, but this is not always the case. I Corinthians 14:31 declares that "You may all prophesy" and Romans 12:6 claims believers "prophesy according to the proportion of faith." (Ro. 12:6) No wonder Peter echoed the prophecy of Joel concerning the New Covenant church, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17-18).

This is all-inclusive, for in the New Will "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). Therefore, if we testify of Jesus' works, we are automatically prophesying that He can and will do them again.

Prophetic mantles can be imparted—When Saul came into a company of prophets the Spirit of God moved on him and he also began to prophesy. (See I Sam. 10:1-6.) We also have the key Biblical examples of: Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha, and God removing the prophetic anointing from Moses and putting it on seventy of his elders, who immediately began prophesying. (See 2 Kgs. 2, Num. 11:16-17,24-30,)