“Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6
No prophecy comes about by a prophet’s own interpretation for the origin of prophecy is not in the human will. Instead, a prophet speaks from God as inspired by the Holy Spirit. One who claims to speak on behalf of God is held to a strict standard of judgment and the punishment for speaking falsely in God’s name is death.
Throughout the time of Israel’s monarchy, prophets primarily advised kings by pronouncing words of divine guidance, inspiration and warning. However, much later, the focus of the prophet’s message turned to God’s people. Many think of a prophet as one who can predict the future however, their primary responsibility is to make known the Holiness of God and His covenant obligations; to denounce idolatry and unrighteousness; and to call God’s people to repentance and faithfulness. Being a mouthpiece for the Word of the Lord was (and still is) a dangerous calling. Prophets are often mocked, persecuted, rejected and even killed.
Today, nothing has changed. The prophet is still charged with the task of affirming God – through the incarnation of God the Son in the person of Jesus Christ. For it is the Spirit of prophesy that bears witness to Jesus, alone.