What is the prophet's work?
Andrea had a disturbing dream about Julia. They were friends for many years. Julia was married and wanted children. Andrea thought it was a good idea at first, but after she had her dream, she changed her mind. She prayed to find out more, to make sure this was from God. The more she prayed she realized that it was not God's will that Julia should have any children. Andrea approached Julia with the news. Julia got angry, and said to her, "How do you know this is from God. For all I know you could just be telling me this because you are jealous of me, you always have. Besides, why did God choose you to tell me this? He can tell me also. And, why would he choose you, period? With all that stuff you have done. I know, because we did a lot of those things together. I am going to have a child, and that is the end of it. You are not going to take my joy away. And, I know God certainly wants me to be joyful."
Andrea and Julia did not speak for years. Andrea did not stop praying for her. And, often hoped they still would speak. Julia had her child. She was born with a rare genetic defect that led to mental retardation, seizures, and other symptoms. Julia was now spending most of her time taking the child to doctors and hospitals. These circumstances were putting a strain on her marriage. Tom - her husband - understood the child's need for care, but he still felt that she was not caring for him enough. And, to make matters worse, she would not let him be involved as much, saying he did not know what to do. Later she complained that since he was not involved, the entire burden fell on her. At some point, he said, "I cannot take it anymore."
Andrea ran into Julia once. Andrea approached her to talk. Julia received her a little cold at first, giving her the usual response, "everything is fine.' Andrea prayed and pressed further, Julia opened up slowly. And, finally, she cried. "Why would God do this to me?" She said out loud. With tenderness, Andrea embraced Julia. Julia cried more. Finally, Andrea told her, "Remember I told you about that dream I had, and I told you I that it was not God's will that you have any children. God loves you and wanted to spare you from all of this" "Oh, Julia, I should have listened to you. I feel so bad. I love Tom, and I love my child. What do I do now?" Andrea had had another dream, and she knew she had to tell Julia. God was using Andrea as a prophet, and this is what prophets do.
In Hebrews 1:1 it says that God … "at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets." In 2 Peters 1:21 Peter said that "… prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Prophets, in other words, were God's spokesperson. A spokesperson is a man or woman who speaks as the representative of other or others. The prophet speaks as the representative of God.
Most of the time, the prophets' work is revealing Sin. The Bible is full of instances in which God called on these men or women to reveal the Sin of others. However, it is not to keep you from "having fun," advancing in life, control you or to humiliate you; it is because of Love. By Love, we mean agape – God's unconditional love.
God wants to spare you and others from the consequences of Sin. As Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16,
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
John puts it very simply in Revelation 3:19, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten."
But, just as many misrepresent God and misinterpret His intentions, they also do His prophets. In order not to feel the guilt and feel good about themselves they reject the prophet. In many instances, they will say, "That is your opinion." Ellen White addresses this issue in the next quote.
Yet now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God. You know how the Lord has manifested Himself through the Spirit of prophecy. Past, present, and future have passed before me. I have been shown faces that I had never seen, and years afterward I knew them when I saw them. I have been aroused from my sleep with a vivid sense of subjects previously presented to my mind and I have written, at midnight, letters that have gone across the continent, and arriving at a crisis, have saved great disaster to the cause of God. This has been my work for many years. A power has impelled me to reprove and rebuke wrongs that I had not thought of. Is this work of the last thirty-six years from above or from beneath? . . .
. . . In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper, expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne."—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 27.
This is what prophets do: Spread God's words of love (Agape). The question is, will we heed them and their message?