Our Prophetic Calling

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

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev19:10

4 thoughts on “Our Prophetic Calling

    DeWaay concludes his article with this:

    “Paul warned, “Do not despise prophetic utterances.” What constitutes despising prophecy? Despising prophecy is the refusal to allow the Lord’s flock to bring the authority of Scripture to bear on one another and church leaders. This happens, for example, when a church member hears false teaching coming from the pulpit, does Biblical research to bring out valid implications, goes to the pastor and proves that the pastor has promoted what is false and the pastor refuses to defend his own teaching or listen to the evidence of the church member. The pastor has despised the prophecy of the member and claimed the right to give false prophecy from the pulpit and then furthered the sin by refusing to allow his own prophecy to be judged.

    This is precisely what Luther claimed the Roman Catholic Church was doing in his day. Church authorities alone claimed the right to prophesy, and when doing so falsely, claimed immunity from being judged. This process is being repeated in many versions of evangelicalism today.

    We need to return prophecy to the members of the church. Every member of the congregation, whether in a position of leadership or not, has access to the authoritative Scriptures and may bring forth valid implications and applications from them. Together, as we prophesy, we benefit from edification, exhortation, and comfort. The lost are convicted of their sins while the saved grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.”

  2. Loretta,

    It is very important that those who prophecy speak under the anointing, because if they “prophesy” with out any anointing on their words then what they say may actually dull the hearer instead of infuse them w/ the life of God. The only way to get that type of anointing is to truly seek God “as He in fact is” and to live Holy lives.



  3. hello Daniel,

    Thanks so much for mentioning this. You are so right. I believe the Bible teaches that we all, in Christ, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, (and are anointed thus) and then, can also be “Filled” with (empowered by) the Holy Spirit (by faith, through prayer, in abiding, by His power) to thus speak (in the power of the Holy Spirit), all His revealed Truth, including the Gospel.

    Yes, this “prophesying” that DeWaay speaks of in his article, must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit, to His glory. Amen to what you said, brother.

  4. Prophesy?
    No such thing.

    Can you tell me one time that someone said something like:
    “It says ABC in the bible, and that means that XYZ is about to happen”
    and it did?
    I know a lot of people did this in reverse:
    “XYZ happened, and it says ABC in the bible, so the bible predicted it”
    but that is postdiction, not prediction.
    (yes, I know postdiction is not a real word, but you get my point I hope)

    The Nostradamus crowd does that a lot.

    Here is my take:



    Both remind me of people who say the bible makes predictions.

    So I’d love to hear what true PREdictions the bible has made.


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