The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers? Part 9
If we are to arrive at a proper conception of the function of the prophet (nabhi), we must look to its meaning in actual usage: ??and I shall place My words in his mouth, and he will speak unto them all which I command him.? Deuteronomy 18:18?? Here, the function of the prophet is that of declaring the Word which God has given.? It may be mentioned that in this context even the false prophets acted as did the true.? Even the false prophets spoke forth a message, and the writer of Deuteronomy presents the criteria of means which the words of false prophets may be distinguished form those that are of the true!!? When Moses complained about his lack of ability to speak, the Lord declared that Aaron his brother would speak for Moses: ?I know that he surely can speak.?? The entire function of the prophet is that of speaking.? ?And thou shalt speak unto him, and thou shalr place the words in his mouth, and I shall be with thy mouth, and I shall teach you that which ye shall do.? And he will speak for thee unto the people; and it shall be that he will become thy mouth, and thou shalt be come his God.? Exodus 4:15-16?
???? In this likeness the call of Jeremiah tells us with even more implicidness: ?And thou, thou shalt gird thy loins, and thou shalt arise and thou shall speak unto them all that which I shall command thee.? Jeremiah 1:17? To note the similarity between Deuteronomy and Jeremiah is striking.? The function which Jeremiah is to discharge is that of speaking the words which God gave him.? It is thus also noteworthy to acknowledge that the prophet, himself, understood the ramifications of his work.? In Jeremiah 1:5 it was noted that even before Jeremiah was born God had declared him to be His messenger!!? ?Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.?? This also sounds like the statement of the apostle Paul; ?And when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother?s womb, and called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen?? Galatians 1:15-16a??
???? When Jeremiah heard the announcement of his call, Jeremiah cries that he does not know how to speak. ?Intentionally, Jeremiah knew the work of a prophet was speaking!!? The thought of him speaking seemed to bring fear to his heart.? The prophet was to speak the ?mind of God.?? When a time came that the Jew was to go down to Egypt in Isaiah 30:2, they who failed to consult the mind of God were said not to have consulted ?His voice,? or that of His prophet. Isaiah 30:2? ?In other words, to consult the mouth of God is equivalent to consulting the prophets of God.? In 1 Kings 8:15, Solomon blesses the Lord ?which spake with His mouth unto David my father.?? The reference appears to be to the remarkable promise given to David through Nathan the prophet and recorded in 2 Samuel 7 ??For God to speak with His mouth and to speak through His prophets is the same thing!!
???? Now we come to the New Testament where the same office is mentioned.? Do we have the same function?? Were those who were called prophets in the New Testament charged with the same work?? It has not been that long ago that we studied this office/function and found them ministers of the gospel, preaching the good news of the kingdom of Heaven.? In Ephesians 4:8-13 we find them definitely mentioned as a apart of the structure of the New Testament Church in the miraculous age-do they exist in the age of perfection?? ?Were men like Philip, Timothy, Titus, and Stephen of this stripe?? Did they preach a message that ?pulled at the strings of the Heart? unlike that of the apostles?? Were they men of higher linguistic abilities that were designed ministers of exhortation?