The Spiritual Gift Of Prophecy In Rev 22:18 -- By: Robert L. Thomas

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 32:2 (Jun 1989)
Article: The Spiritual Gift Of Prophecy In Rev 22:18
Author: Robert L. Thomas

The Spiritual Gift Of Prophecy In Rev 22:18

Robert L. Thomas*

I. Description Of The Spiritual Gift Of Prophecy

Recent attempts have been made to define prophecy so as to cover all kinds of prophecy, including NT prophecy.1 These definitions are helpful in pointing out some of the leading characteristics of Christian prophets—that is, those with the spiritual gift of prophecy—but a description rather than a definition facilitates more comprehension of all that is entailed in the gift.

1. Characteristics of the Gift of Prophecy

In the following listed properties of prophecy the attempt is to represent a general consensus of current opinions. Because of the objective here of dealing with the gift in the Apocalypse of John, certain assumptions must be made. These assumptions have been effectively developed elsewhere as noted. (1) The gift involved immediate divine inspiration of the

* Robert Thomas is professor of New Testament language and literature at The Master’s Seminary in Panorama City, California.

spokesperson or writer.2 (2) The gift provided exhortation and encouragement.3 (3) Another aspect of prophecy was its element of teaching.4 (4) The gift of prophecy incorporated prediction.5 (5) The gift entailed a degree of authority less than that of the OT prophets and the NT apostles, but some kind of authority was present.6 (6) A further characteristic of NT

prophecy was its inclusion of an ability to discern the validity of other prophecies.7 (7) Gifted prophets had an ability to perceive the thoughts and motives of other persons (cf. Luke 7:39; John 4:19; Acts 5:3–4; 8:21ff.).8 (8) Exercise of the gift-was-occasionally accompanied by symbolic acts.9 (9) Another phenomenon was that most often prophets were residents in a single locality, but some were also itinerant.10 (10) A further feature was that most NT prophecy was oral, but some was written.

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