Surely the Lord God does nothing
[i]Without revealing His secret plan [of the judgment to come]
To His servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7
God therefore reveals his secret to his Prophets; that is, “He does not suddenly or unexpectedly punish you, as he might do, and as ye see that he does with respect to others; but he proclaims what he will do, and sends his messengers, as though they were heralds sent to denounce war on you; and at the same time they open a way for reconciliation, provided ye are not wholly past recovery, and perverse in your wickedness. Ye are then doubly inexcusable, if God can do nothing by his word and by the punishment which he afterwards subjoins to his word.” We now comprehend the object of the Prophet. Then foolish is the question, at least unreasonable, “Does God here bind himself by a certain law, that he will do nothing, but what he previously reveals to his Prophets?” For Amos means not this, but only affirms that it was the common method which the Lord adopted in chastising that people. It is certain, that the Prophets did not know many things; for God distributed his Spirit to them by measure: all things then were not revealed to the Prophets. But Amos here only intimates that God did not deal with his chosen people as he did with heathen nations; for these often found God unexpectedly displeased with them, and had no time to reflect, that they might repent. Much more kindly and mercifully has God acted, says Amos, with that people; for God was unwilling suddenly to overwhelm or to surprise them, but has warned them by his Prophets. We see how widely this doctrine opens; but it is enough to understand the Prophet’s design, and to know the purpose to which his discourse ought to be applied. – Calvin
Notice how God doesn’t say He reveals His plans to “a prophet,” but to “His prophets.” That is critical. As a church, we must understand that the prophetic leadership of God does not lie within the spiritual experience of just a few “Big P” prophets. No, it exists within the spiritual experience of the church. When we all seek God to hear from Him prophetically, He will surely reveal His plans to us.
There are several ways God reveals His will to humans:
- Through messages He gives to His prophets by direct communication, visions or dreams or as delivered by angels.
- Through direct signs and miracles.
- Through His written Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.
- Through the influence of the Holy Spirit on the individual Christian’s mind and heart.
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Spirit to the church —
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching – Romans 12:6-7