Who are the real "prophets"?
I would like to share some points related to a talk my brother Emmanuel gave yesterday to his congregation:
Genuine Christians are "prophets" because they express what they understand to be Scriptural prophecies. Many of those prophecies though are written in a cryptic way and need to be interpreted.
This interpretation must be done using 1. the Bible and 2. the ‘courage of our deduction’, applying biblical principles and extrapolating them to new situations or understandings
Now since we are imperfect, such interpretations and deductions will from time to time be wrong, but nonetheless we are entitled to try and to understand his holy word as long as we don’t claim “papal infallibility” as regards those interpretations!
God is never angry with us if we come up with a wrong idea, but instead, he lovingly corrects us through his Holy Spirit and shows us the path that we should follow.
If we then realize that we have erred in an understanding we must publicly express that we were wrong. We do not want things that are not correct mistakenly taken to be true. James said…
3 Not many of YOU should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment. (James 3:1)
18 When I say to someone wicked, ‘You will positively die,’ and you do not actually warn him and speak in order to warn the wicked one from his wicked way to preserve him alive, he being wicked, in his error he will die, but his blood I shall ask back from your own hand.. (Ezekiel 3:18.)
We all make mistakes but we have to try and warn when we see trouble coming. But if we continue to ask we will be answered by Jesus with spiritual gems…
7 “Keep on asking, and it will be given YOU; keep on seeking, and YOU will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to YOU. 8 For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened. (Matthew7)
In fact, we show a noble attitude when we keep on searching out the Holy Book…
2 The glory of God is the keeping of a matter secret, and the glory of kings is the searching through a matter. (Proverbs25)
Yes, as "prophets" we do what Peter said that we must do…
10 Concerning this very salvation a diligent inquiry and a careful search were made by the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for YOU. 11 They kept on investigating what particular season or what sort of [season] the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ when it was bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings for Christ and about the glories to follow these. 12 It was revealed to them that, not to themselves, but to YOU, they were ministering the things that have now been announced to YOU through those who have declared the good news to YOU with holy spirit sent forth from heaven. Into these very things angels are desiring to peer. (1 Peter -12).
This is what we do as Christians, actually making a "diligent inquiry" on biblical issues. We look carefully to find the true meaning of the biblical prophecies. We do so with faith in the perfection of God's Word, in which no expression has been made in vain.
The angels of God “desire to peer” in this investigation. Surely they have a magnificent vantage point!
In fact, our knowledge of the truth is progressive. Thanks to a continuing study we are not tied to creeds and dogmas which can not be improved. The Apostle Paul himself had acknowledged that it is not possible to know the whole truth during his time. True Christians would have to wait until the arrival of the completed mystery…
9 For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; 10 but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with. (1 Corinthians 13:9, 10.)
As Solomon put it:
18 But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established. (Proverbs 4:18).
The day is "firmly established" when the Son of man will be revealed at the end of this systems of things. Things will be clear and perfectly understandable at that time.
I consider it appropriate to stress that we have reconstructed the chronology of the Bible, and found out that it is pointing to 2008 the Great Tribulation, maybe on Tishri1, the day of the trumpet blast.
It is true that we can go wrong, but the Lord will guide us through the right path if that is his good will. Sooner or later all his people will become familiar with the prophetic knowledge.