The gift of prophecy is one of God’s special gifts extended through the Holy Spirit to the human family (1 Cor. 12:4-11). This gift is also called “the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17), which is defined by the same inspired writer to be “the spirit of prophecy” (19:10).
God’s purpose in providing and bestowing the prophetic gift is to re-establish and maintain communication with man, who has been estranged and separated from Him through sin. This gift operates through prophets by means of visions, dreams, inspiration, and revelation.
The product, prophecy, is a divine message from God to the human family. The great Book called “the word of God” (Heb. 4:12) and the “Holy Scriptures” (Rom. 1:2) came to mankind through the gracious operation of the prophetic gift (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
The prophetic gift is not the message itself, nor is it the gospel or the Bible; rather, it is the method, the process, the means by which the divine message comes from God to man. It is an essential and inseparable part of the great plan of redemption.
The gift, therefore, dates back to the day when the Lord resumed communication with Adam after his banishment from Eden. This gift has never been withdrawn; it is still God’s abiding gift to the human family. Through this channel, He has been revealing Himself and giving His messages to the world ever since our first parents left their Eden home.
There have been periods, some short and some long, when the gift has not been manifested in “open vision” (1 Sam. 3:1), but the gift has never been permanently withdrawn. At such times as God has deemed best, the manifestation of the gift has reappeared, and, through the medium of visions and dreams, prophets have brought divine messages to the Lord’s needy people.
In this issue of Elder’s Digest, you will find, among other relevant topics, a special emphasis on both the 20th Anniversary of the Elder’s Digest reaching that historic landmark in 2014, and helpful information regarding the “gift of prophecy.” The year 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of Ellen G. White’s death. We honor her memory, ministry, and legacy to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Enjoy your reading!