When we discuss prophecy and prophets, it is easy to form opinions that may or may not be correct, create confusion, or even instil fear all depending on the individual.
The matter of prophecy and prophets can be something of an enigma, but the word of God can be open and transparent. God is not shrouding things and hiding them from us. On the contrary, He is hiding things For us but we must dig for truth in the way that a person digs for gold or a precious diamond.
Jesus said that we can and should know the truth that really liberates us in John 8:32.
In John 14:16-17, He said that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who will abide in us and in John 14:26, He said that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things.
In John 15:26, the Lord described the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth and again in John 16:7-15 reinforces all I have just said.
At no point does it seem that He intends us to be ignorant of truth.
Such truth of course points to Jesus, as many of those passages quoted reveal.
The bible is a book that contains many topics including history and prophecy, both past and present.
Most prophecies have been fulfilled. Some are being fulfilled as we speak, whilst others relate to some future event.
God wants us to know, but as I have said, we must find out the truth for ourselves and we do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us, or, to put it another way, to open up the bible to us. It is not a sealed book any longer. There are many places that suggest God has secrets. He does, but the things He wants us to know and I call them the really important things, can be found by diligent and prayerful research. Such scriptures as follows verify my statement.
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Isaiah 45:19
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. Daniel 2:19-23
...That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. Matthew 13:35
We know that Jesus taught by parables, but He never hid them from those who followed Him. He revealed their meanings as we can see in Mark4:1-34. Proverbs 25:2 states-
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2
It is up to us to search for the truth. Prophecy reveals truth, that can at times seem to be hidden.
Herein is a question, namely, “What is prophecy?” Prophecy can be an inspired utterance of a prophet, the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose or a prediction of something to come. In such areas, we tend to relegate them to the Old Testament era and to a certain extent, this is true.
Prophecy however has not “finished”. Some things are yet to be fulfilled, but I suggest that prophecy as we generally thing of is “finished”. By that, I mean that the Old Testament is still valid, but we live in a time when some things that might have been hidden away before are being unfolded and brought out into our gaze as we race to a close to this dispensation.
Prophecy today in the Church is more of a forth-telling, rather than a fore-telling and is in fact one of the nine Gifts of the Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14. Those who prophesy today are more likely to be merely using this particular gift (1 Corinthians 12:10). They may not be prophets at all. This gift is available to everyone.
A New Testament prophet occupies an office as listed in Ephesians 4:9-16 and such a person is appointed by the LOrd to that position. Such a prophet has a different office to men like Daniel, Jeremiah or Isaiah.