Properly defined, a prophecy is a verbal message that comes from God, is mediated through a prophet, and is delivered to a person or a group of people. This message is verbal, not a subjective impression or an internal, mystical “sense” of things. This helps to explain why in so many places in the Old Testament, we read, “Thus saith the Lord.” When we think about prophets in general, we are directed primarily to the Old Testament because Christ’s ministry in the New Testament was the ultimate fulfillment of the prophetic office. While Jesus was on earth, there was no need for prophets, because God was with us and speaking to us directly. There is a clear continuity—not a contrast—in the prophetic office from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (II Peter 1:20-21)

In II Peter 1:20-21, the apostle uses the Greek word προφητεία, which refers to the utterance of a prophet animated by the Holy Spirit. The central idea that Peter was trying to push forward is that…

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