Many conservative Christians make the above equation – that what was once called prophecy in the early church is today what we describe as inspired preaching, especially if it is of the kind that calls down fire upon those in our societies who oppress the powerless, exploit the diminishing resources of our planet, or deceive the gullible masses.
Certainly, these are all things that a prophet might well do. But does that turn their words into prophecy? No, not even if they were uttered by a prophet, let alone a preacher! It is hearing from God and declaring what he says that makes prophecy.
According to Ernest Gentile in Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy: Prophetic Gifts in Ministry Today, the one upon whom so many preachers try to model themselves, the “Prince of Preachers” himself – C.H. Spurgeon – didn’t think so. And he was also a prophet!
If you want to know more about this then check out the full story at my Listening 2 God blog.