New Functions in the New Testament
There are a couple of new functions in the New Testament as well that we do not see at all in the Old Testament.
Acts 15:32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.
Never was this said of a prophet in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, they mostly told people that they were going to die or that their bodies were going to rot.
"You are going to have plagues, stink, and lose your family." That is what the prophets usually prophesied in the Old Testament. There were not a whole lot of "feel good" prophecies going on back in the day.
Why not? It is because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. They did not know the grace of God. They did not know the price that Jesus would pay to cover them by His blood.
They only knew the righteousness of the Father. There was not a lot of exhorting going on in the Old Testament when the prophet spoke. People were afraid of the prophets.
They were terrified because what they spoke came to pass. They did not go to Samuel and say, "LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sit down. It feels so good to be around you, Samuel. It is so nice. Let me hear some words of exhortation."
"Come on, Ezekiel, Amos, Micah, exhort me a little while."
I think that they lived a lonely life. Thank the Lord for His grace, His blood, and for the Holy Spirit. Prophets, we do not have to be alone forever. Praise you, Lord!
We are not meant to be alone. We are meant to be those who exhort and strengthen the Church. We are not meant to tear them down or convict them. That is the role of the Holy Spirit and the evangelist.
You have been trying to play evangelist, thinking, "I must separate the sheep from the goats. I must bring a sword and fire."
Broken Fixes Broken
However, there is a very tender heart beating inside of you. If there is one thing that every prophet has, it is that they have a passion for the brokenhearted and for those that have been abused and hurt.
You have such a desire to reach out and heal them, but you put on this stupid mask.
"I am a big, tough guy prophet. I am going to come in and say it as it is."
Would you let that go? Let the evangelist do that. God has put in you the heart of David. He has given you a heart after His own. He has given you tenderness and love, but you would not think so looking at a lot of the prophets today.
Why are you so tenderhearted? It is because you have a special relationship with Jesus. That is something that people should be jealous of. That is what they should see in you. It is His heart that He has put in your breast.
However, you have put so much junk on yourself - prophecies, visions, and revelations. You have piled yourself with so much, "I should do this, this, and this" that you have covered over the wounded heart that God wants to use.
You try to cover up your wounds, hurts, and vulnerability with a "Thus saith the Lord." Yet, you do not realize that it is your brokenness that is your testimony.
It is your brokenness that He has called. It is your brokenness that is going to heal a broken church. A church that needs to be strengthened, encouraged, and lifted up.
Let the evangelists bring that fire. You are not the fire bringer. You are the healer. You are meant to be bringing Jesus. That is why the Old and New Testament prophet are nothing alike.
The Old Testament prophets did not know Jesus. They did not introduce Jesus to Israel. They brought the Father's word to Israel, a very righteous word of God.
There was no left or right. Yet, we have confused this.
You have so much passion in you. Because of the brokenness and love that you have, it is like a fire inside. If you view your calling through the Old Testament, you are going to come down so hard on the broken.
How many people have you broken by giving them the fire, instead of the oil and balm of healing that they needed?
We are so hyped up on the candy and on the big show that we forget that this is not how we are going to change the Church.
Ephesians 4:12 For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
See that one of the main tasks you have been given is to bring the knowledge of the Son of God. It is not the knowledge of the prophet or the knowledge of your doctrine. It is not the knowledge of your hobbyhorse or of your greatest revelation either.
Here is your calling, prophets, to equip, to build up, and to give people a living knowledge of Jesus.
Now, if you happen to use a prophetic word to do that, then that is fine and well. The teacher is going to use the Scriptures to do that, the evangelist is going to use the fire to do it, and you are going to use the love of Jesus to do that.