Messenger of the Lord


Teaching Replaced Prophecy

At least two reasonable responses may be offered: MOL 22.8

(1) The excesses of the Montanists in the last half of the second century A.D. who started out well in upbraiding the churches for their laxity and lack of zeal but who became “wild” in their prophetic interpretations: “Soon Christian prophets ceased to exist as a distinct class in the Church’s organization.” 33 MOL 22.9

(2) The rise of sacerdotalism (the rise of the priesthood as the prime mediators between God and the human race) and the institutionalizing of canonized “saints” supplanted the voice of the prophet as a visible element in the life of the church. 34 MOL 22.10

But, though the institutional church slipped into the dark ages, spiritual gifts were present wherever the gospel was faithfully proclaimed. They did not cease altogether. One of the reasons why we know so little about this relatively silent period for the gift of prophecy may simply be that the writers in the institutionalized church rejected spiritual gifts and persecuted their recipients. But the record of that long period does exist: “The history of God’s people during the ages of darkness that followed upon Rome’s supremacy, is written in heaven, but they have little place in human records.” 35 MOL 23.1

1. What are some of the ways (Hebrews 1:1) God uses in communicating with human beings? MOL 24.1

2. Why did God choose prophets and prophetesses as His chief method of communicating His messages? MOL 24.2

3. In what three general ways did prophets or prophetesses convey their messages? MOL 24.3

4. What evidence do we have that Bible writers used editorial assistants? MOL 24.4

5. What is the essential difference between verbal and thought inspiration? MOL 24.5

6. Why do you think the gift of prophecy is God's most effective method for communicating with the human family? MOL 24.6

7. What are some of the risks God takes in speaking through prophets and prophetesses? MOL 24.7