|Here’s a good question: What is a prophet? Most people think it’s a fortune teller — someone who tells the future. The biblical concept of a prophet is a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit, who operates in God’s power, but primarily a person who speaks for God to the people for their benefit. Even if the prophet speaks to those who are evil, it is for their benefit. God’s heart is always to turn people around, to give mercy, to point them in the right direction, and show them the way out!
A few biblical examples of prophets showing the way out include Moses leading people to freedom; Elijah providing the widow of Zarephath with instructions that provided an unlimited supply of food; and Naaman, who was instructed by Elisha and healed. We see that the purpose of the prophets is to serve for the benefit of others. Jonah was one prophet in the Bible who was not considered great by rabbis, because he did not care about the people he prophesied to. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell them to repent. When they repented, Jonah grieved because he actually wanted them killed. Jonah was powerful, but he only served himself.
Friend, Jesus tells us to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing. These are false prophets who are only there to serve themselves. They are not there to serve the people God loves, or has sent them to. As believers, we can trust the biblical concept of a prophet as someone who possesses the Holy Spirit and operates in God’s power. Most importantly, they are people who have God’s heart to serve and love people, in addition to speaking for Him.