The Prophets- Teachers or Preachers?
????????? Many have been the mistakes when speaking about this special servant of the Lord.? It is true that they received revelation from the God of Heaven, and it is also true they spoke out what message God gave them.? Both parts of this activity need to be understood.? We will spend time studying how they spoke the message and then how they received the message then observe how they delivered the message.?
???? What is most often understood about prophets is that they did not necessarily tell of the future.? They, in fact, should be characterized much like the preachers should be of our time.? Most of our brotherhood does not recognize the difference between teaching and preaching!!? In teaching one addresses the text and doctrine of the covenant trying to reach the mind of the hearer.? In preaching, the speaker addresses the emotion and will of the hearer using the doctrine to persuade, to prove the facts, and to urge the listener by both logic and emotion to change his or her life.? This is what the apostle Paul demanded of Timothy??Preach the Word?reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.?? It is vitally important to see the differences in the two.? It is extremely sad that in today?s world the Churches of Christ have spent too much time teaching the lost and no time on how to STIR UP their hearts. ?The Baptist and Pentecostals have spent no time on the doctrine and all their time on the emotion and will of the listener.? The preacher that spends the time teaching from a text and no time in addressing the emotion and will of the hearer is not preaching?he is teaching.? Now, there is no hesitation in stating that both need to be done?but each, my brethren have their place!!? The interest of the teacher is to impart information while the interest of the preacher is to stir the reaction and emotions of the listener so they will respond to the doctrine!!? So, the preacher is a teacher demanding the attention of the emotions of the listener so they will respond to the gospel being taught!!
???? In the Old Testament period when the prophets were declaring the message to the people it was the job of the priest to teach the people the Law!!? Hosea cried; ?Hear the word of the Lord,? and ?Hear ye this, O priests and hearken ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king.? Hosea 4:1, 5:1.? In both instances the prophet brings his message in a way to inspire the people to turn from their sin and live truly for God.? Amos tells Amaziah, priest of Bethel, that ?the Lord had taken him from following the flock to ?prophecy unto My people, Israel.? Amos 7:15 ??His job WAS NOT to tell of future events, it was to stir up their hearts and emotions so they would obey what their priests had taught them and live a life God demanded.? In both references neither prophet was instructing the people what the Law said; both were encouraging the people to do what they already knew the Law commanded as had been taught by the priesthood!!? ?Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem? Jeremiah 2:2? ?Then I said, ?I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name.? But His world was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay? Jeremiah 20:9?? Jeremiah was to do this preaching ?while standing at the gate of the children of the people? (meaning the city gate). Jeremiah 17:19?? In verses 20-22 Jeremiah used the message taught by the priest to demand, encourage, and instill fear in the hearts of his listeners.? The preacher who allows his audience to ?go to another world? or ?go to sleep? while he is proclaiming the message of Christ is not doing what God intended him to do!!? On the day of Pentecost Peter ?lifted up his voice? he ?got their attention,? he stirred their hearts. Acts 2:37, he ?roused the spirit within?!!