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What the Bible says about Prophet, Responsibility of
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 4:14-16

Of course, Moses was not really God, but in the teamwork aspect of their working relationship, God is clearly pointing out that Moses was the leader, even though Aaron would be doing the bulk of the speaking—at least until Moses' confidence, his faith, increased to the point that he no longer worried about being slow of speech. Moses would be in the position of issuing the orders. Aaron would be in the position of submitting to what Moses said.

Moses was in the position of God to Aaron, even as God was to Moses. Moses was God's prophet, but Aaron was Moses' prophet. A prophet is one who speaks for another, who speaks the words that the other put into his mouth—a simple arrangement, easy to understand.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership

Deuteronomy 18:15-18

In this, God adds honor to the life and reputation of Moses as both the governing leader and legislator of Israel. Moses is a clear type of Jesus Christ in both of these offices. However, in this case, the passage emphasizes the office of prophet. True believers have respected Moses to a degree few other leaders of any nation have been. The Promised Seed, the Messiah, will be like Moses but far greater still.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eleven): Signs

Isaiah 58:1

This verse describes a prophet's major responsibility, but here and there in the Bible a prophet is called a "watchman" or "man of God." They are also described as pastors. Whatever they are called, there is always some indication that they were set apart from the normal system, even if they happened to be Levitical priests. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were both priests, but they were not part of the system, standing apart from it despite being of Aaron's family. What God did in setting them apart made them recognizable to the people as "a man of God," as a "watchman."

Although the biblical record appears to show gaps between prophetic activities, it is probable that, until the New Testament times, there were always prophets among the people. The last Old Testament prophet was John the Baptist, who, although appearing in the New Testament, was still operating under the Old Covenant. His father, Zechariah, was a priest, and even though John came from a priestly family, he was definitely different from the priests of his day. In fact, he stood out like a sore thumb. This standing apart is always an identifying mark of a prophet. Though a prophet may be a priest, he is definitely not part of the priesthood system.

The prophets whose writings make up much of the biblical record tend to appear just before a time of crisis or during the crisis itself. Sometimes they were well organized, as in Samuel's or Elijah's day, when schools of the prophets existed. However, these schools tended to produce - not prophets in the classic sense like Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or Isaiah - but the equivalent of modern-day theological seminarians. We can speculate that they were probably mostly Levites, who, as part of their Tabernacle/Temple service or priesthood training, attended these schools. Undoubtedly, some of these spoke under the inspiration of God, but they were not prophets in the same sense as the well-known prophets of Scripture.

Sometimes a prophet's ministry was accompanied by tremendous miracles, as with Elijah and Elisha. God used these signs and wonders to reinforce their ministry. At other times, as with John the Baptist, no miracles at all were performed (John 10:41). In other words, no one pattern emerges on this point. The chief distinction is that they were men set apart.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 1)

Jeremiah 23:21-22

It is a great honor to represent God in the preaching of the gospel, whether to the world or to the church. However, there is an important principle here, that is, if one is going to do it, he had better be appointed to do it.

God is organized in what He does. Did He not create a human body that is organized? The human body is a type of His church, and in both, all direction comes from the Head. Does the hand take over and do the job of the eyes? Does the nose take over and do the job of the ear? No. The part only does the job that it is appointed by God to do.

And so it is in the church of God. God expects those whom He has appointed to perform a certain responsibility to do it. We bear that burden. How many times does the Old Testament contain the phrase "the burden of the Lord"? "The burden of the Lord" is the responsibility God gave to the prophets, and it is a burden in a number of ways. If a person is going to be preaching the gospel), he had better be appointed to do it and worthy to represent the One who appointed him—God the Father.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Avoiding Superficiality


 




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