With our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, He made the Old Covenant obsolete.
With this, we no longer need to appoint a high priest to go into the Holy of Holies to offer gifts and sacrifices for our sins. Jesus is our High Priest forever and His blood has cleansed us from all our sins. We also no longer need a Temple because we are His living temples and His Spirit dwells in us.
Thus, the ministry of the New Testament prophet has changed dramatically from that of the Old Testament prophet.
First: the New Testament prophet is still a mouthpiece for the Lord, but he no longer is the Lone Ranger galloping into town on a white horse ready to speak the word of the Lord to people. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all believers can prophesy and are encouraged to do so.
Second: Prophecies spoken by a prophet (or a believer) are not to be accepted as prophetic words straight from the throne of God without being judged first by other believers. We judge prophecies by checking scripture and our inner spirits.
Third: A prophet or believer can no longer burst onto a scene, like a church, and prophesy. Everything has to be done decently and in order. Thus, the Holy Spirit has to make a way for the person to prophesy.
Fourth: If a prophet or a believer makes an error in his (or her) prophecy, he is to humble himself and ask forgiveness. Believers are to forgive him as the Lord has forgiven them.
The one thing that has stayed the same is that prophets or believers who prophesy may suffer afflictions, even severe ones.
Okay, what can we do to encourage believers to prophesy?
(Continued in Part 7)