Recently I had a conversation with a young person about prophecy. To this clued-in, modern-minded individual, prophecy was an unusual subject. The idea of being able to intuit the future, to see forward in time to discern events, seemed an absolute impossibility. He almost scoffed at the idea as science fiction.
I reminded him that prophecy suffuses the Bible. In the book of Numbers, Moses, speaking to Joshua, underlined the importance of prophecy: “I wish all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit on them” (Numbers 11:29, God’s Word Translation).
In the Old Testament, Elijah, Elisha, and others exemplified prophetic abilities, and the arrival of the Messiah, Christ Jesus, was predicted. In the New Testament, Jesus himself proved on a number of occasions that he could discern what was going to happen before it did. Prophecy proved to be a valuable gift, which helped protect the lives and well-being of many.
Intuition. Insight. Foresight. If we were able to exercise these prophetic qualities, we would be able to take appropriate action, make better decisions, and say the right thing at the right time. Our lives would run along smoother paths, we would be more readily able to attain goals, and we would more naturally live in harmony with others. Society as a whole could be benefited. We would be demonstrating the gift of prophecy, fulfilling Moses’ wish.
Is this possible here and now?
From a Christian Science perspective, it is possible, and the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, shows us how and why.
Mrs. Eddy defined “prophet” in Science and Health as “a spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth” (p. 593).
Elsewhere in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy indicates that anyone who wishes to grow spiritually is capable of exercising the gift of prophecy or spiritual seeing. She says: “When sufficiently advanced in Science to be in harmony with the truth of being, men become seers and prophets involuntarily, controlled not by demons, spirits, or demigods, but by the one Spirit. It is the prerogative of the ever-present, divine Mind, and of thought which is in rapport with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future” (p. 84).
Here, Mrs. Eddy indicates that as we grow spiritually, it is inevitable, not just possible, that we will become prophets, although the modern, conventional sensibility often seems to doubt this, as my recent conversation with my young friend showed.
The Bible records that Elijah forewarned King Ahab of a drought (see I Kings 17:1), and Elisha was able to inform the King of Israel of the movements of Syrian troops, thus saving him (see II Kings 6:8-10) in several instances. The Gospels indicate that Jesus had foreknowledge that he was going to be crucified and that he would be resurrected after three days (see John 2:18-22). And he indicated that he knew that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples (see Mark 14:18).
Although these biblical examples are extraordinary, I believe that I, and people I’ve encountered, have experienced, in a degree, moments of intuition from the divine source, God, which have provided guidance regarding the unfoldment of future events. Through endeavoring to listen to the direction God, Mind, is giving me, I’ve experienced instances of being able to say the appropriate thing, and I’ve been directed to make good decisions, which have helped me avoid problems and inconvenience. This kind of capacity can be demonstrated by all, amplifying harmony in our lives.
As Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health, “Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to commune more largely with the divine Mind, to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, to be divinely inspired, – yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind” (p. 84).
As we advance spiritually, we each will have the privilege of coming into our God-bestowed heritage of seeing farther and better until we understand and demonstrate that God has made every one of us a prophet. We will prove that prophecy isn’t science fiction and isn’t obsolete, but is a present spiritual capacity that enables us to help ourselves and others.