What is the duty of the prophet? The duty of the prophet is to reveal the will of God to people. What does the prophet do? Prophets speak froth God’s will, what God has revealed to him. As a prophet, when I become a head of a family, I have to reveal God’s will to my family members so that they can be edified. Not only to family members, but also to my friends, coworkers and neighbors. Pastors of the local churches function as the prophets in the body of Christ.
I learned how there are two governing principles in the Bible. Law and Works principle and promise and faith principle. Prophets had to reveal God’s will concerning both. Not only did they have to interpret the law and tell them of moral and spiritual duty toward God, but also they had to inform them of gracious promise of God through which God promises to do all the work by Himself.
“a. Both before and after the incarnation. The Socinians were mistaken in limiting the prophetical work of Christ to the time of His public ministry. He was active as prophet even in the old dispensation, as in the special revelations of the angel of the Lord, in the teachings of the prophets, in whom He acted as the spirit of revelation (I Pet. 1:11), and in the spiritual illumination of believers. He appears in Proverbs 8 as wisdom personified, teaching the children of men. And after the incarnation He carries on His prophetical work in His teachings and miracles, in the preaching of the apostles and of the ministers of the Word, and also in the illumination and instruction of believers as the indwelling Spirit. He continues His prophetical activity from heaven through the operation of the Holy Spirit. His teachings are both verbal and factual, that is, He teaches not only by verbal communications, but also by the facts of revelation, such as the incarnation, His atoning death, the resurrection, and ascension; and even during the Old Testament period by types and ceremonies, by the miracles of the history of redemption, and by the providential guidance of the people of Israel.” (p.394)
Lord’s prophetical work before and after the Incarnation
- Before the Incarnation
- In appearing as the angel of the Lord
- In teachings of the prophets in whom Lord acted as the spirit of revelation
- 1 Peter 1: 11 “inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories”
- Also as wisdom as in Proverbs 8
- After the Incarnation
- In His teachings and miracles
- In the preaching of the apostles and of the ministers of the Word
- In the illumination and instruction of believers as the indwelling Spirit
Lord still teaches and instructs me on Sundays through pastor James and other Christians. He still teaches me through His Spirit within me through the Bible where great truths regarding Him are recorded. In the Bible is also recorded His teachings during the public ministry and what He has done. His acts, his behaviors, his miracles, his death, resurrection, incarnation and ascension also teach me about God’s will. In summary, our Lord Jesus Christ, through His life, words, Spirit and the Bible reveals God’s will of salvation to us. Even the redemptive history and types, ceremonies in the OT all reveal God’s will.
Some people might ask, how can you say Jesus Christ still teaches us? The answer is that He teaches us mediately, that is through mediator. This mediator is the Holy Spirit, who is also described as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ. Through the indwelling Spirit in believers, pastors, Lord still instructs us and executes his prophetic office. Yes, there were times Lord taught us immediately but now he teaches us mediately in His Spirit.
People say Jesus was a great moral teacher that He was extraordinary in his teaching of truths. But do they really acknowledge Him as the Prophet who was sent by God and spoke as the messenger of God? Don’t they mean Jesus was merely a human who was enlightened by His own effort as if everybody can be like Jesus on their own?