Submission and Obedience


Who is a prophet? A prophet is a man called by God. A prophetess is a woman called by God. The same description of a prophet applies to both prophets and prophetesses. Thus, for convenience, this description will refer to the masculine.

What makes a prophet a prophet? Is it that he proclaims what shall happen in the future? Does he dress perhaps a bit oddly, so he's easily distinguished in a crowd? Is the hair style or are the shoes a dead give-away? Or, maybe he has a speech defect or speaks with a certain dialect?

Any of those descriptors could be said of many human beings walking on the planet. We have different labels for some folks: conspiracy theorist, nerd, extremist, extrovert, fanatic...but none of these describes what a prophet REALLY is! So, what is a prophet---REALLY?

  1. A prophet is called by God before anyone else knows it. Ezekiel 1:1,3.
  2. A prophet does not call himself or herself to be a prophet...only God does that.
  3. A prophet is true to God because God already knows He can trust the prophet.
  4. A prophet obeys what God tells him to do or to say. He lives in obedience.
  5. A prophet knows the heart of God intimately. God told OT prophets what was on His heart to tell specific persons, groups of people, or even nations.
  6. A prophet speaks only when God gives him a message...or else keeps his mouth shut.
  7. A prophet is used by God; the prophet does not use God!
  8. A prophet proclaims an unpopular message most of the time.
  9. A prophet is not believed by most of his audience most of the time.
  10. A prophet knows he will suffer because of what he will declare for God, but he says or does it anyway.
  11. A prophet is often alone in a crowd---he loves people, but often draws aside to spend time with God.
  12. A prophet knows when he delivers the message God has given, it usually will not be received well.
  13. A prophet is expected to deliver the message given him to the person or persons for whom it is intended. He is responsible only for delivering the message. He is not responsible for what individuals do with the message.
  14. A prophet knows if he does not faithfully deliver the message so the intended individuals are warned and they perish in ignorance, his blood is required by God in their stead.
  15. A prophet may suffer physical injury, torture, deprivation, starvation, overheating or freezing, poverty and/or many other negative treatment by people who hate his message, but he obeys God anyway.
  16. A prophet walks in the strength God supplies to him, not reliant on his own abilities to withstand oppression.
  17. A prophet finds the company of God more appealing than any human companionship, yet loves and befriends many for their souls' sake and for God's.
  18. A prophet is privy to inside information that is sobering. Therefore, he is usually serious and not given to frivolity that would dissipate his message.

Jesus warned that in the Last Days false prophets would be afoot declaring wrong prophecies to mislead people from God's real intentions for them. Israel listened to false prophets who declared peace when there would be no peace. The nation was led astray and missed hearing Jeremiah's call to repentance he delivered for God to His people.

When someone declares he is a prophet and begins to wax eloquent about spiritual matters, be certain that man or woman truly is a prophet sent by God. Do not take their message to heart unless they meet the test and do not violate Scripture in their declarations.

If they do meet the criteria for being a prophet, pay attention to what they say. Honor and respect them and their word, for then you, too, will receive a prophet's reward.

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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