What is the Spirit of Prophecy?

Questions & Answers May 13, 2016

Q: What is the Spirit of Prophecy, or SOP? And what are the books of the SOP? — Zabulon, from Burundi

A: According to Revelation 19:10, the “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The “testimony of Jesus” is His prophetic messages to His people given through His prophets. We see the spirit of prophecy working throughout the Old Testament. God declared in Numbers 12:6, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.” Of course, we know that during the Old Testament period God sent many prophets to speak for Him to His people.

In the New Testament the Spirit of Prophecy continued to be manifested through various individuals such as Anna (Luke 1:36), Zacharias (Luke 1:67), John the Baptist (Matt. 11:14), Barnabas and others (Acts 13:1), and John the Revelator (Rev. 1:1-3).

In his very helpful article, “The Gift of Prophecy: Another Facet of God’s Care For His Church,” Dr. Gerhard Pfandl points out that “Paul wrote to the Ephesians that the gift of prophecy would remain in the church ‘till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God’ (Eph. 4:13). In the book of Revelation, therefore, the remnant church in the time of the end is said to have ‘the testimony of Jesus’ (12:17), which according to Revelation 19:10 is ‘the spirit of prophecy’ …

“For the early Christians the ‘spirit of prophecy’ was a reference to the Holy Spirit, who imparts the prophetic gift to God’s messengers. This also becomes evident when we compare Revelation 19:10 with Revelation 22:8, 9.”

The fact that the testimony of Jesus or “Spirit of prophecy” is mentioned in connection with God’s end time remnant church (Rev. 12:17) indicates that Jesus would speak in a special way to His people for these last days. That’s why we often refer to the writings of Ellen G. White, God’s messenger to His last day remnant church, by the phrase “The Spirit of Prophecy.” This is the same Spirit who inspired God’s earlier prophets with messages for His people.

For more on this important topic, I encourage you to read Dr. Pfandl’s article at: https://bit.ly/giftofprophecy.

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