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The Prophets: What Is A Prophet?

The English word "prophet" originated from a Greek word which meant to tell before i.e. pro means before and phemi means to tell (the English word fame is based on that same Greek word, phemi).

The Hebrew word of the Old Testament that is translated as "prophet" is pronounced naw-bee. It means an inspired speaker, as in an in-spirit-ed speaker. The key to knowing whether a prophet is of the LORD, or not, is to recognize what spirit the prophet is inspired by - the Holy Spirit of God, or the spirit of Satan.

The Greek term of the New Testament that is translated as "prophet" is pronounced prof-ay-tace. It also means an inspired speaker.

"Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth"

By definition, true prophets of God speak only His Word.

The Holy Scriptures

"1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth." (Jeremiah 1:9 KJV)

"18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18 KJV)

On the other hand, there were, and are, the false prophets (or renegade prophets who go off on their own after they have known the Truth) who seek only to "profit" themselves. Although they sound the same in English, "prophet" and "profit" have no common origin. "Prophet" is from a Greek word, as explained, while "profit" is from a Latin word which meant to advance i.e. to take advantage, as plainly shown in this example of a prophet girl "which brought her masters much gain."

"16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying"

The LORD's prophets are often regarded as having only been there to prophesy coming destruction, but they only did so within the context of preaching and teaching God's Truth - and what would happen to those who rebelled against it. The LORD's prophets, who were therefore also experts in God's Law, also prophesied great good that is coming upon those who obey God's Law. There is no "doom and gloom" in this prophecy to the righteous:

"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:1-3 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "parabolic" mean? How did the Messiah use it in one of His most detailed prophecies?
See Parabolic Prophecies

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