The means by which Prophets receive their message in the OT

Deuteronomy 18:14-22 discusses God’s prophets in relationship to the sorcerers and diviners of the surrounding nations. This is interesting for it implies that the office of prophets and that work of sorcerers and diviners may appear to be similar –both are seeking to guide people and receive that guidance from another realm –but there are some fundamental differences that this passage brings out.  Prophets of God receive their message directly from the Lord. God’s word is put ‘in his mouth’ and he must speak everything the Lord commands.

As we are discussing the means by which prophecies are received, we would be remiss to remind ourselves that prophecies are a work of the Spirit of God resting upon a person.  The 70 elders appointed by Moses had the Spirit fall upon them and they prophesied once in their life and no more (Numbers 11:25).  From this we can learn that prophesy isn’t a permanent gift, but can come and go as the Spirit determines. But conversely, there are men and women who prophesied repeatedly in the Scriptures –Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, et al.

Some prophecy seems to be tied to worship and musical instruments (1Chr 25:3ff).

Prophets receive their messages in various ways.  Sometimes all at once, other times in pieces. Sometimes in dreams, and at other times in words or visions. Isaiah has visions (Isa 1:1). Jeremiah saw pictures that God had to interpret (Jer 1:13-14God spoke to Ahijah and he knows the certainty of the message given to him concerning the pretense of Jeroboam’s wife when she comes to see him (1Kin 14:5-6).  Jeremiah is told to do a number of things in this life and as he does the actions then the interpretation or message from God is given to him.  For instance he must buy a line belt and then bury it so it is damaged (Jer 13:1-11); he is to watch a potter work (Jer 18); buy a jar and break it (Jer 19); and buy a field from his cousin (Jer 32:16).  Isaiah must walk around barefoot and naked to portray Egypt and Cush’s defeat to Assyria (Isa 20:2-3).

3 Comments

  1. Strangely enough I here what I can describe as words through vibrations in my throat that say that they are Wanting me to call them “my father in heaven” or “holy spirit”. The voice tells me that all I need to do in life is pray, meditate, take care of the poor and needy, take care of my parents and my grandmother. The voice tells me throughout the day to say the lord’s prayer, or tells me I need to meditate. When I read the Bible, the voice interprets what I just read (I’ve become accustomed to ‘non verbally-ask Him) from the bible. Last night, after prayer and while meditating He told me to read James and 1 Peter the next morning. If I don’t understand what He said, I tell Him and he repeats it. This sounds crazy, I know, but does this resonate at all with you guys?
    Finally, after much guidenxecin understanding, He says that I’m a mystic and prophet.

    Now I am 44 and have been a Christian for four years now. I can easily interpret text in the Bible because He tells me virbatim what it means.

    Any thoughts?

    • Scott Roberts (Author)

      Joshua, your situation is a new one to me. The one thing that you didn’t mention in the instructions you recieve is a focus on Jesus and the finished work of Christ. Hebrews 1 says that in former days God spoke through the prophets, but now he speaks to us by his Son. Does the voice/vibration give glory to Jesus, declare that he has come in the flesh and is risen from the dead?

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