Called to be Prophets? – by Eric C. Wheeler (

Recently, a professing-Christian woman disdainfully yelled at me saying she didn’t believe in New Testament prophets. Which, of course, I found to be interesting, since not only does Scripture say that there were (and still are) prophets in the New Testament (see Matt. 23:34; Acts 11:27-28; 13:1; I Cor. 12:28), but Scripture goes on even further to encourage us to be (or become) prophets and prophetesses. We are literally admonished and commanded in the Bible to be conduits and mouthpieces of the Holy Spirit speaking through us – which is literally the very definition of a prophet! Why is this New Testament teaching shunned? Why is this biblical concept so hard for professing modern-day Christians to accept and embrace? Even Moses, knowing the heart and will of God, prophetically stated: “Oh, how I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” (Num. 11:29).

Have you ever noticed that Jesus actually told us to become like the prophets? “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets! …Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets” (Luke 6:22-23, 26). Jesus is telling us here that we Christians should become prophets – to literally be like them. It is something we should be aspiring to – daily. The Apostle Paul also affirms this, telling us that we should be earnestly seeking the supernatural ability to prophesy (he called it the “gift of prophecy”) – that is, to be divinely used as a continual conduit and mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit ministering to others (I Cor. 14:1). Paul, just like Moses, wanted ALL of God’s people to be able to prophesy – to have the Holy Spirit constantly running and flowing through them (see I Cor. 14:5, 31). Scripture says that Paul himself was considered a prophet (Acts 13:1). Why is this such a hard and foreign concept to us? Don’t we realize that even Jesus didn’t speak His own words, but was a conduit of the Heavenly Father speaking? He said, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own; but the Father who dwells in Me… and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:10, 24). Again, Jesus declared: “I have given them the words which You [Father] have given Me” (John 17:8). Jesus didn’t speak His own words, and neither should we. In fact, Jesus told us to be conduits of God, just as He was: “You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to them and to the unbelievers. When they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matt. 10:18-20). “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7:18).

A prophet (or prophetess) is one who speaks for God. They are not speaking on their own authority or by their own human spirit. They are speaking by the Spirit of God. Notice this in Scripture:

Yet for many years You had patience with them, and testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets. Yet they would not listen.” (Neh. 9:30).

But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the Lord of Hosts.” (Zech. 7:11-12)

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.” (I Pet. 1:10-12).

Brethren, just like the prophets of old, we too, are to be speaking by, and at the unction of, the Holy Spirit – that is, Christ in us – the Spirit of God! Isn’t this what was written: “In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy… and on My servants, both male and female, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy!” (Acts 2:17-18)? Why is this such a disdainful and obtrusive thought to some – especially to people who call themselves believers (Christians)? Wouldn’t a Christian want to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God and of Christ and used as a mouthpiece and conduit for Him? Remember what the Scripture says, “If you don’t have the Spirit of Christ in you, then you are none of His!” (Rom. 8:9). Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34). If Jesus/God isn’t speaking out of you, you should probably be asking yourself then, “Is Jesus/God REALLY dwelling in my heart?”


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