[117]

Chapter 7

SOME RELATIONSHIPS OF THE PROPHETS

[Return to the Table of Contents]
[Return to Online Books Menu]
[Return to the Homepage]

Section Titles
Prophetesses
The Prophet and the Priest
Old and New Testament Prophets
Jesus and the Prophets
SUMMARY
FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION
SELECTED REFERENCES

Certain relationships of the prophets to other individuals or groups should be clearly understood. At times there is overlapping, but never duplication or conflict, in carrying out God's plan if each workman occupies his designated place and does the task assigned to him. Sometimes God has appointed certain men to do two or more types of work at the same time. What relation existed between prophets and prophetesses, between prophets and priests, between Old and New Testament prophets, and between Jesus and the prophets? These relationships have a bearing upon our comprehension of the prophetic gift.


Prophetesses

[Top of Document]

The Bible tells of a few women who were called to the prophetic office. Both Old and New Testament incidents reveal that women were not excluded from a place among those who served as spokesmen for God. Let us discover the time when each of these women served, the nature of her work, the results of her activities, and the manner in which her work was received.

Miriam. Three times we glimpse the life of the first woman mentioned as a prophetess. We see her as Moses' loving elder sister suggesting to Pharaoh's daughter that she call a nurse for the baby boy whom the princess had taken from the ark floating in the Nile River. Next she appears as leader of a choir of women singing the triumphal song after Israel had successfully


[118]

crossed the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army had been destroyed. The third view is not so pleasant. Miriam and Aaron, critical of Moses' marriage, and blinded by a selfish desire for position equal to that of their younger brother, made this challenge: “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath He not spoken also by us?” Numbers 12:2. Jehovah heard the complaint and punished Miriam by smiting her with leprosy. Her subsequent healing did not in the least detract from the severity of the rebuke.

Immediately after the Red Sea crossing, “sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.” Exodus 15:1. There follows an anthem of praise that resounded over desert and sea. Then the tone changed, as Miriam and the women took up the song. “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.” Exodus 15:20, 21.

Whether Miriam is called a prophetess because of the poetical inspiration of her song on this occasion, or for other reasons, is not indicated. Although this is the only recorded instance of her speaking under inspiration, it does not necessarily mean it was the only time. She is included by the Lord as among the three “sent before” the children of Israel as leaders. “For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” Micah 6:4. Miriam was highly regarded and honored in Israel, and this made her later rebellion against Moses all the more reprehensible. It must be that during the years of her ministry at the side of her two brothers there was sufficient evidence of her prophetic call by the Holy Spirit to prompt Moses to designate his sister as “the prophetess.” Beyond these meager references we have insufficient information as to the definite type of work done by Miriam or the kind of messages


[119]

sent through her, but the testimony is unmistakable that she possessed the prophetic gift.

Deborah. For twenty years northern Israel had been oppressed by the Canaanite king Jabin, who ruled at Hazor, about ten miles north of the lake later known as the Sea of Galilee. Twice before, since the days of “the elders that overlived Joshua,” Israel had been in bondage. Joshua 24:31. Twice the Lord had delivered the nation—by Othniel and Ehud. These men were called to be judges; they were raised up to lead revolts against foreign oppressors. Conditions in Israel that called for repeated punitive invasions by heathen nations are summarized in Judges 2. “And there arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord or the work which He had done for Israel…. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them over to plunderers…. Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the power of those who plundered them. And yet they did not listen to their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them; they soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord.” Verses 10-17, R.S.V. After twenty years of servitude, Israel was again calling for deliverance, and the Lord prepared the way by sending a message to the one acting as judge.

This time the judge was a woman, and she is designated not only as judge, but as a prophetess. “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.” Judges 4:4. The former judges are not mentioned as prophets. Deborah had not been called upon first to lead out in a revolt, but as she sat beneath a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel “the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Verse 5. When the word of the Lord came to her, she sent for Barak of Kedesh Naphtali, and told him he was to take an army of ten thousand men to the river Kishon and there engage Sisera, the commander of Jabin's forces, in battle. Promise was made regarding the


[120]

outcome of the battle, for Deborah remembered God's promise to her, “I will deliver him into thine hand.” Verse 7. Barak refused to undertake the task unless Deborah would accompany him. He wanted all the people to recognize that the Lord had commissioned him to lead the army in revolt. If the prophetess would support him by her presence, it would be clear that God, not Barak, had launched the campaign. Deborah agreed, but she included with her words of agreement a warning that no honor would come to Barak as a result of the battle. She predicted, “Notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor;for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Verse 9. As the story reveals, she was not speaking of herself, but of Jael, at whose hand Sisera died. Verses 21, 22.

Here is a picture very different from that of Miriam. Deborah served in a prominent position, for men and women came from many parts of Israel to consult her about their problems and to obtain judgment. Her reputation was built not merely on the fact that she rendered good judgment—she was recognized by all as a prophet of the Lord. When she called on Barak, evidently a man of considerable prestige in Israel, he did not question the source of the message which called him to organize and lead an army against the Canaanites. He would be in an unenviable position should the rebellion fail. He did not mistrust Deborah's assurance that the battle would result in victory for his army. He did, however, insist on her going along with him on the expedition. Barak's motives are difficult to determine; but, at any rate, we get some insight into his attitude toward the prophetess. If she would stay with him, he was willing to undertake what must have appeared a hopeless task—to face Jabin's nine hundred chariots of iron. Verse 3. Then, too, one can imagine the attitude of the ten thousand if they had not been persuaded that Deborah was a true prophetess.

In the account of Deborah and Barak we find details relating to the experience of a woman called to the prophetic office similar to those concerning men called to the same position.


[121]

She held a place commanding the respect of the nation, and filled it in a worthy manner. She spoke the word of the Lord with authority to a leader in the nation. She gave predictions as to what might be expected in the future, and these predictions were fulfilled. She did not hesitate to follow the course of action she had pointed out for others. She pressed boldly forward in the assurance that God had spoken to her, and through her to Israel. Brief as is the account of Deborah's part in the drama, it is a revelation of the kind of responsibility the Lord laid upon women as well as men in ancient times. Whether the messenger was male or female was immaterial, the messages bore the same weight and were to be accepted without prejudice and put into practice. The story of Deborah is the fullest account we have of a prophetess in Bible times.

Huldah. Josiah's days were days of change, for the young king was a true reformer. He plunged wholeheartedly into the work. First he tore down the idols and the places of idol worship, then he renovated the temple and prepared it to fill its rightful place for the nation. In the process of directing the restoration of the temple, Hilkiah, the high priest, came upon “the book of the law”—from the description of its contents it must have been Deuteronomy, “repetition of the law.” He passed the scroll to Shaphan the scribe, who in turn read it to the king. Josiah had not before read the book, and as he listened he was stirred. He had endeavored to bring about a reformation, but now the need came home to him with a force he had not sensed before. He decided that he must learn more about the message of the book, and what it meant to him and his people. Hilkiah and a group of Josiah's counselors heard this command: “Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found.” 2 Kings 22:13.

The action of the high priest and his companions in response to the injunction, “Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me,” is significant.


[122]

“So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess; … and they communed with her.” 2 Kings 22:14. For them to inquire of the Lord signified to inquire of the prophet, and in this case they turned to a woman to make their inquiry. The interest in this incident is heightened when we realize that by this time Jeremiah had been a prophet in Judah for five years. Compare 2 Kings 22:3 and Jeremiah 1:2. Huldah was held in high esteem by the king and the important delegation he sent to her.

Huldah could offer no hope that the threatened judgments would be withheld. Conditions at that time did not warrant God's application of the principle of Jeremiah 18:7-10, in which He promised to change His course of action if the life of the nation changed. “My wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.” 2 Kings 22:17. However, she predicted that because of Josiah's humility of heart, the destruction would not take place in his lifetime (verses 19, 20). This prophecy was subsequently fulfilled.

Again, as in the case of Deborah, the Bible record makes plain that when the Lord bestowed on Huldah the prophetic gift, she was accepted by the people without question. King, high priest, and counselors were willing and eager to turn to the prophetess to gain a deeper understanding of Moses' words, written under inspiration of God and now part of the sacred writings of Israel. She opened their eyes regarding the things already written, and with the help of the Holy Spirit made additional predictions. Her message was not challenged, for the fact that she was a prophetess had already been firmly established, and her word of instruction was accepted as counsel from the Lord.

Noadiah. In Nehemiah 6:14 we read the words of Nehemiah, “My God, think Thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah,


[123]

and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.” Noadiah is included in this list of prophetesses only because she is mentioned by that term. We know nothing of her except what is told in this one verse. She was associated with Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, and Tobiah, his servant, in their opposition to the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah. Since she is grouped with “the rest of the prophets” by Nehemiah, it may be that she claimed to be a prophetess of God among the Samaritans.

Isaiah's wife. In speaking of his wife, Isaiah calls her “the prophetess.” Isaiah 8:3. On what basis he does this we do not know, as this is the only reference to her, and the statement is not made in connection with any work of a prophetess, but simply in reference to the birth of a son.

Anna. When Joseph and Mary took the Baby Jesus to the temple for the prescribed service of dedication, they met not only the priest who performed the service, but two other persons who were present. One of these was Simeon, who was led to the temple by the Holy Spirit (Luke 2:27), and who pronounced a blessing on the child. He also made a prediction regarding the future of the child and the sorrow that would come to Mary. In addition to Simeon, they met “one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser.” Verse 36. Anna was an aged widow, of the tribe of Asher, famous, according to tradition, for the intelligence and beauty of its women. Her life was dedicated to prayer and spiritual service. Along with Simeon, she recognized in the child the promised Redeemer. Following the most natural procedure for one with such a conviction, she “spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Verse 38. No added light is shed on Anna's service as a prophetess, but it is evident that, as one possessing the gift of prophecy, her recognition of the Messiah was not dependent upon this incident in the temple.


[124]

Philip's daughters. Luke's note in Acts 21:9 is a brief one. In speaking of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the original seven deacons, he said, “And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” This is the only occasion where they are mentioned. However, prophecy was not an uncommon gift in the early church. Paul indicates that among the spiritual gifts it was one to be greatly desired, 1 Corinthians 14:1. It must have been clear in the minds of those who knew these women that they possessed the gift of prophecy.

These are the women whom the Bible writers call prophetesses. Despite our limited knowledge of them and their activities, several vital points are apparent. While they are fewer in number than the male prophets, yet there is every reason to believe that their sex caused no distinction to be made in their prophetic function. They are pictured as leading the nation, explaining the Scriptures, counseling leaders, and making predictions. They were recognized as God's spokesmen, and their testimonies were accepted as the messages of Jehovah.


The Prophet and the Priest

[Top of Document]

In the leadership of ancient Israel was a triple representation of Jesus Christ and His work, for prophets, priests, and kings, in one way or another, typified the coming Redeemer. This was particularly true of the high priests and the kings, the two who were anointed in a special fashion that distinguished them from all others. For our present purpose we are interested in prophets and priests, and their relationship to the people and to each other. As spiritual leaders and types of the Saviour their work was vital.

We need do no more than again call attention to the place of the prophet. Primarily, it was his responsibility to speak for God to the people. He might occupy any other type of position among the people and still be a prophet, for the reception of the gift of prophecy was not dependent on family or occupation.


[125]

The voice of the prophet speaking instruction given him by divine inspiration served as the equivalent of the voice of God speaking directly. There are other implications of the term prophet as revealed in the experience of some in both Old and New Testament times, but they need not concern us in our present study.

Priests stood in a different relationship to both the Lord and the people. Whereas the prophet represented God before the people, the priest stood for the people before God. Men separated from God by sin needed someone to act for them in things pertaining to God. As types of the Saviour, the priests were empowered to serve in this way. Paul, though speaking particularly of Christ, well describes this phase of the function of the priest. “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17. In the fullest sense this was the function of the high priest, who was the true priest of Israel. Other priests served as his assistants. It was the high priest who bore the names of the tribes of the children of Israel “before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial,” as the breastplate was fastened on him. Exodus 28:12. It was he who was so closely identified with the people that if they sinned, it was regarded as his sin also. On the other hand, if he sinned, the people sinned. The priest was one of the people, but set apart from them for a special ministry as their representative. Others who were not so set apart undertook the duties of the priest at times, but this proved disastrous.

As in the case of the prophet, the priest was not selected by the people. But, unlike the prophets, eligibility for the priesthood depended on being a member of the family of Aaron. By no means does this indicate that every member of Aaron's family was regarded by God as an acceptable candidate for the priesthood. Physical imperfections and disabilities disqualified


[126]

a man to serve as priest, and other strict rules for eligibility were laid down. Leviticus 21:17-24. Only the man who was recognized by God to be a priest was genuine. What was true of the high priest was true also of the common priest: “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God…. And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Hebrews 5:1-4.

Prominent among the duties of the priests was that of offering sacrifices—“that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Verse 1. There would have been no point to his service if he had nothing to offer. Hebrews 8:3. As the shedding of the blood of the Saviour was necessary to make atonement for the sins of the world, so the offering of the typical sacrifices was essential in bringing about reconciliation between man and God through the ministry of the priest.

One of the distinctions between the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary and that of the priests in the earthly is that Christ “ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. In connection with the offering of their sacrifices, earthly priests made intercession for those for whom they ministered; but theirs was a limited ministry. “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.” Verse 23. Intercession was a natural outgrowth of the sacrificial offerings for the expiation of sin. The work of a priest was the work of an advocate.

The requirements and functions of the priesthood were not in the realm of the prophet as such. Although God chose the prophet, there was no particular requirement of family or tribal relationship. He was a representative of the Lord rather than of the people. His ministry did not involve the offering of sacrifices or the making of intercession in connection with them.

There were times when a priest was called to be a prophet, as in the cases of Samuel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Then, of course, he bore the dual responsibility and could perform the


[127]

functions of both offices. We are concerned, in this chapter, only with men who occupied one place or the other.

Thus far we have noticed only the relation of prophet and priest to the Lord and to the people. We have done this to form a setting for our consideration of the relationship of the two to each other.

The ministry of the priesthood was a perpetual ministry, while that of the prophets was Used to fill special needs. There were not always prophets, but there were always priests. As we think back over the total function of the prophet, and compare it with the responsibilities of the priest, we can see how the two offices could have been used regularly to complement one another. This was not always the case, and we will notice some of the methods of co-operation as well as some of the conflicts between prophets and priests.

1. The revelations of God's will, in the form of instruction for the people, came through the prophets. Through their religious services and dealings with the people, the priests were to help them put the principles of prophetic instruction into practice. The priests were the guardians of the law and were responsible for its observance. The whole plan for the conduct of the sanctuary had been revealed to Moses the prophet, but it was under the administration of Aaron and his sons.

2. As a man speaking for God, the prophet brought rebuke, pointed out sin, and called the people to repentance. When the people came to confess their sins and present their offerings as a token of their confidence in the Redeemer who would remove their transgression, it was the priest who received them, guided in the making of the offering, and took upon himself the sin to be transferred to the sanctuary. It was he who made intercession for the sins of the people.

3. At times the prophet came suddenly on the scene to bring his message. Some of these messengers functioned for only a brief period. On other occasions prophets ministered through several decades. Some lived and worked among the people,


[128]

while others did not. It was to the priests that the people could turn regularly for help. Their multiplied numbers and the nature of their work made approach to them easier than to the prophets.

4. Frequently it was necessary for priests to be included among the group to whom the prophetic messages of reproof were sent. Samuel's first revelation pictured conditions in Eli's family and told of the approaching punishment. Later prophets frequently denounced sin in the ranks of the priesthood. Priests had as much responsibility to accept the correction of the prophet's message as did the people. In fact, because of their position and influence, their obligation was greater than that of others.

5. Both prophet and priest were essential to complete the great circle of communication and ministry for needy humans. In co-operation, each made the work of the other more effective. When priest and people strayed from the path, the word of the prophet showed the way back. In turn, the priest could bring that word home to the individual heart. When the priest was having a difficult time holding the people to the way of right, the prophet's message strengthened his hand.

The relationship of priest and prophet did not differ greatly from that of the modern ministry and the word of God. Men set aside for the work of the ministry are counterparts of the Levitical priesthood. It is their duty to minister the word, to expound and teach it, to lead the people to accept its principles and practice them. They seek to lead the people to make their offering—a living sacrifice. They carry on their hearts the sins and weaknesses of their friends who sit in the pews. The people have access to the ministers for guidance and spiritual association. The administration of the services and activities of the church rests upon the ministry.

But always the word of God, spoken by the prophets, stands as the voice of the Lord, as though He were present to speak in audible tones. It continues to instruct, to convict, to rebuke.


[129]

When modern men wander, God's word shows them the way back. Minister and people alike are under its principles.


Old and New Testament Prophets

[Top of Document]

A gap of four centuries stretches between the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New. Malachi is regarded by the Jews as the last of the prophets to write a portion of the Scriptures. They accept none later as canonical. As Christians we recognize John the Baptist as the successor to Malachi in the great prophetic line. Malachi had predicted the coming of one to prepare the way for the appearance of the long-foretold Messiah. Malachi 3:1. John also partly fulfilled the prediction of the last of the Old Testament prophets that Elijah would be sent before the coming of the day of the Lord. Compare Malachi 4:5 with Matthew 11:14. The break in the continuity of the prophetic line poses no problem when we recognize the conditions that existed during the inter-testament period, and also when we remember that there is no record of a prophet during the four-century span from the Flood to Abraham. Nor is it difficult to identify a true prophet when one arises even after a lapse of centuries.

Basically there is no difference between the men and the messages of the Old and the spokesmen and the writings of the New Testament. As suggested in Malachi's prediction, there is much of the spirit and character of Elijah in John the Baptist. It took the same kind of man with the same holy boldness to say to Herod, “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife” (Mark 6:18), as it did to proclaim to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). Paul, reasoning with Felix of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” while the governor trembled (Acts 24:25), might easily have exchanged places with Daniel to bear the testimony to the king of Babylon, “And thou his son, O


[130]

Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this” (Daniel 5:22), as Belshazzar's “knees smote one against another” (verse 6). Ezekiel's grand views of the glory of God on His throne would fit as well into John's account in the Revelation as they do in the places where they are recorded.

It is true that in the New Testament are detailed numerous fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. But this does not mean that the men who served as prophets, and the messages they brought, were distinctly different from the ones who had gone before. It simply indicates that a new stage had been reached in the outworking of God's plan; and the prophets were proclaiming that fact, and they were trying to lead the people into a correct relationship to their times as had been done in the past. The later prophets merely took up where the earlier ones left off, and continued to unfold and chronicle the development of the plan of salvation.

The relationship of the New Testament prophets to those who wrote in Old Testament times is exactly the same as the relationship of the Old Testament prophets to one another. They are to be tested by the same standards. Their messages are consistent, harmonious, and progressive. They quoted the former prophets and revealed the greatest respect for what had been written. They filled their divinely appointed places as speakers for God in the same noble, faithful, God-fearing manner as had their predecessors.


Jesus and the Prophets

[Top of Document]

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. A standard Greek lexicon defines the word here translated “fulfill,” as follows: “Universally and absolutely, to fulfill, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment: Matthew 5:17.”—J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English


[131]

Lexicon of the New Testament, page 518. Christ came to demonstrate that it was possible to live the whole of God's will as expressed in His word. His words in this verse voice the theme of Jesus' relationship to the prophets during the years of His earthly life. However, there was much more than that to the total relationship.

Christ's interest in and contact with the prophets did not begin when He was a man in Galilee and Judea. As a member of the Godhead, before His incarnation, He was responsible, with the co-operation of the Holy Spirit, for every communication that reached the prophets. It was “the Spirit of Christ” in the prophets, Peter declared, that “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. The predictions Jesus fulfilled during His earthly life and ministry were the exact ones His Spirit had prompted the prophets to record. As a child He had studied them at His mother's knee as He “increased in wisdom and stature” with the passing years. Luke 2:52. He revealed His respect for the messages of the prophets not only by formal statements, but by repeated reference to the things they had recorded. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:31.

The relation becomes closer when we realize that Jesus Himself was a prophet. Speaking prophetically of His imminent rejection at Nazareth, the Saviour said of Himself, “Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24. He abundantly fulfilled all the requirements for a true prophet, even using some of His predictions as verification of His Messiahship. “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He.” John 13:19. Among His best-known prophecies are those of the signs of His second advent, recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.


[132]

In His rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, Jesus assured them that there were more prophets yet to come. Verse 34. He revealed His divinity in His statement that He would send the prophets. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” The prophetic ministry, originated to communicate with fallen men, was used by the Son of God to perpetuate His own ministry. Now that He had come to earth as a living revelation of the character of His Father, it would be necessary for additional prophets and prophetic writers to herald His first advent, and they would focus particular attention on His second coming. It would need to be made clear that the ceremonial system with its sacrifices had come to an end. Principles would need to be applied in the light of the way demonstrated in the life of the Redeemer. Studied in the light of these developments, Old Testament predictions would take on new meaning, and the significance of the whole would need to be explained to old and new believers. New lands were to be reached with the gospel message, and they would need the word to be brought to them in the light of their situation and problems. Prophets would be needed, and they would be sent to do a special work.

The association of Jesus with the prophets, personally and through their writings, was intimate. His words indicate clearly that through these same writings we may enjoy an intimate fellowship. Our Bible is made up of the communications sent through the prophets. The word of God presents to us the message the Lord would bring if He were to communicate to each one personally. It is the written word; but the expression “Word” is used in another significant way. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John 1:1, 14. As the Bible is the written expression of the


[133]

will of God, so Christ is the living manifestation of that will. Thus the messages of the prophets and the life of the Saviour become one in their purpose, theme, and accomplishment. Christ can never be separated from His unique relationship to the prophets.


SUMMARY

[Top of Document]

1. A study of various relationships of the prophets to God and to other individuals and groups reveals much that helps us to understand them and their work.

2. No distinction is made between men and women who served as prophets. Prophetesses were fewer in number, but their relationships to God and to the people were the same as those of the prophets.

3. Prophet and priest were intended to be associated closely in achieving their objectives. The prophet representing God and the priest representing the people helped to form a two-way system of communication.

4. No distinction can be made between Old and New Testament prophets. All were called by God, and they served in the same capacities and worked toward the same objectives.

5. Jesus identified Himself with the prophets from the beginning, and He declared Himself to be one of them during His earthly ministry. Their messages and His life unite to form the revelation of God's character in the written and living Word.


FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION

[Top of Document]

1. Can you discover additional significant relationships of the prophets that are not mentioned in this chapter?

2. What reasons can you give why God should use women at times for prophets rather than restrict this office to men?

3. Were there functions strictly within the scope of the prophetic


[134]

office that were performed by the prophets but not by prophetesses?

4. State the parallel responsibilities of the Levitical priest and his relation to the prophets and their writings, with those of the Seventh-day Adventist minister and his relation to the Scriptures.

5. What might have been accomplished if prophet and priest had always co-operated as God intended?

6. Can you find any New Testament truth that does not have its roots in the Old Testament?

7. What would have been lost in the first advent of Jesus if there had been no prophetic messages concerning it?

8. Notice the increased emphasis on the second advent in the New Testament books. Give particular attention to the New Testament predictions that clarify some of the Old Testament prophecies whose significance we might not have grasped without the additional light.


SELECTED REFERENCES

Haynes, Carlyle B., The Book of All Nations, pp. 314-323, 324-351.

Read, W. E., The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church, pp. 93, 94 (Women and the Prophetic Gift).


[Top of Document]
[Return to Homepage]
[Return to Online Books Menu]