There are some that think that only certain special (elite?) Christians are “anointed”. They call themselves “prophets”. These claim to have subjective, personal, authoritative “prophecies” and “words from God”. Unfortunately, many of these “prophecies” are fake and unbiblical. Does this negate true prophecy in our time?
Bob DeWaay’s Critical Issues Commentary is a newsletter of theological essays addressing unbiblical teachings and movements in the church. One issue I appreciate is The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer from July/August 2006.
In this article, DeWaay explains that under the New Covenant, every believer has the Holy Spirit and may prophesy. He teaches that prophesy is speaking the actual written Word of God, declaring Truth from scripture and proclaiming the terms of the gospel, as well as valid implications and applications of authoritative scripture. He says that every believer who accurately (biblically) proclaims the terms of the gospel, or any Biblical truth, is prophesying with the full authority of God:
“The Reformation view was that prophecy was the teaching of the Word and proclamation of the terms of the gospel. Since every believer has the Holy Spirit, every believer….can authoritatively declare the terms of entrance into the kingdom. All are anointed and all have the authoritative teachings of Christ and His apostles. Therefore they may prophesy.”
He goes on to teach that all prophesy can and must be judged by other believers regarding whether it is biblical or not, and why this judging is so important.
One function of prophesy, he teaches, is for believers to be edified, as we see in 1 Cor.14:31: For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted.
Another theme in the article is that the proclamation of the gospel to the lost is prophesy in its most important form, since it testifies about the person and work of Jesus Christ. DeWaay writes:
“Let me illustrate. If I say to someone, “According to the Law of God, everyone is a sinner and stands condemned as a law-breaker. The penalty for all law-breakers is eternity in hell. Since you, like everyone else, have broken God’s law, you stand condemned. God is perfectly just and cannot lie. God said that the soul that sins must die. But God is also loving and merciful. So God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, came into human history through the virgin birth, lived a sinless life, and shed His blood on the cross to avert God’s wrath against sin, and was bodily raised from the dead and appeared to many witnesses. If you repent of living for self, trusting self, and spurning God’s Word and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be saved. But if you neglect God’s offer of salvation through the finished work of Christ, you will face God’s wrath in eternity and there will be no escape.” –- I have truly prophesied in a most powerful and true way. Those words are not inspired Scripture, but they are valid implications from Scripture. They have the authority of God not because I uttered them, but because they correctly describe the certainty of the consequences of either faith or unbelief. When they are applied to a given sinner, they constitute a valid and authoritative application.”
“True prophesy comforts and strengthens faithful believers, warns straying believers, and convicts the lost of their sinful condition.”
If you are in Christ, you have the Holy Spirit. You are anointed. You may boldly declare the truth of scripture and proclaim the gospel. As His disciple, you have the authority, power and calling to prophesy.
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me. John15:26
you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses…Acts1:8