is the Hebrew word used most of the time. Its root
meaning is to bubble forth, as from a
In the time of Samuel another word
(seer) began to be used. (I Samuel
Later, another word hozeh (seer)
is used in II Samuel 24:11.
All these words are used together in I Chronicles
Balaam is called koser (diviner).
This word is always used as a false prophet.
The prophet told the message given to him, and the
seer told the vision of God. The prophet and seer was a spokesman
for God, in God's name
and by God's authority. (Exodus
7:1) He is the mouth by which God speaks to
men. (Jeremiah 1:9) What a prophet says is not of man, but
of God. (II Peter 1:20,21)
All of the Bible may be considered prophetic
because it was written by men who received revelation directly from God.
The foretelling of future events was not necessary, but
was used at times. The great task of prophets was to correct moral and
religious abuse and to proclaim great moral and religious truths.
In the New
Testament times the prophetic office was continued. Jesus is called a
prophet and was the great prophet of the church. (Luke 13:33; 24:19)
There was a distinct office of prophet in
the early church. (I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5) These men
revealed new revelations from God. They were different from the
teacher, who told truths already revealed.
By the time Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, the
revelation was complete. There was no more need for the prophetic
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is
useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly (completely)
equipped for every good work."
(II Timothy 3:16,17)