The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 7

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Purpose of the Prophets- Teachers or Preachers?

There are many names we see used for the office of the prophet.? Some places he is called an angel of Yahweh as in Haggai 1:13, or a shepherd, or a servant; other places he is called a watchman.? These terms are figures of speech rather than appellations.? Three general ideas are ours regarding the use of these terms.? First, there is no definite succession of dates at which the various terms describing the prophets came into use.? It is generally understood that these terms were and are used interchangeably.? Each term has of course its own definite meaning.? A man who had certain supernatural gifts was called man of God, prophet, seer, or beholder.? One term may have been at certain times current, rather than another, but all four of the terms were current from very early times.? Second, these terms are applied to persons who are better known in some other capacity than as prophets, but who exercised prophetic gifts.? Some of these, as Moses the lawgiver or David the king, stand very high in the prophetic ranks.? Other men like Joshua and Solomon, Ezra, and Nehemiah were in this classification. ??Thirdly, these ?terms are applied to persons who were prophets only in a secondary sense.? There were pupils or disciples or assistants of the men who were strictly prophets.? We see as we study a term called ?companies of prophets? or ?sons of the prophets.?? These men were banded together into organizations under great prophets as Samuel or Elijah, men who were, by the way, recognized as disciples of Isaiah.? A person of this type may naturally be spoken of as a prophet or a man of God, especially when he is sent by his superior on some prophetic errand.? The secondary prophets were at times much more numerous than the primary prophets, and it sometimes becomes important to distinguish between them.

???? Some assert that the prophet and his function was merely a frenzied utterance, and that primarily the prophetic gift as conceived was an unimportant function in reaching the minds through the hearts of those who heard them.? To this rebuke of the servant of God, the offense is immeasurable.? Their role in meeting the needs God had intended is circumvented and denied.? That there is no ground for this as there is not for many other thoughts some of the ?learned? have offered? When speaking to Moses concerning his role given him in stirring up the children who had been in slavery when in Egypt, God said: ?See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.? Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh.? Again, in Exodus 4:16: ?And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people?he shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him as God.?? With this highly vaulted position, the prophet exercised great importance in the period of the Old Testament.? Amos cried out; ?the Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?? Amos 3:8 ???The primary function of the prophet was to prophesy, that is, to speak the message which God had revealed unto him.?

???? Terms used as descriptive of the prophet must be defined, an example is the term ?seer.?? The ?seer? was the same as prophet.? ?Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come, and let us go to the seer; for he that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a Seer.? 1 Samuel 9:9?? ??O thou seer, go, flee thou away into the land of Judah?and prophesy there.? Amos 7:7.? ??Sometimes the terms were used together as in 2 Samuel 24:11; ?the prophet Gad, David?s seer.?? ?The acts of David the king?are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad, the seer.? 1 Chronicles 29:25.

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