January 16, 2013
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-9
All in all I was generally pleased with my seminary education.
We had brilliant professors who taught us the basics of theology and the many other things a minister needs to be well-equipped to serve the Lord.
Only now have I found that my education was sorely lacking. It appears that there is a new school in Tel Aviv, which is teaching people how to be ... are you ready for this ... how to be ... a prophet. That's right, for only 200 shekels, that's $53, you can attend 40 classes at the Cain and Abel School for Prophets.
The school's founder and only teacher is Shmuel Hapartzy. Originally an atheist, Hapartzy has looked into mysticism, Chinese philosophy, astrology, black magic and Christian cults. Eventually, he settled on Judaism as being his religion of choice.
Now, using a curriculum of his own construct, Hapartzy is teaching his students about the meaning of dreams, the classification of angels, the mysteries of the Holy Spirit, and how to discern a person's inner feelings from their external actions and appearance. Students who attend class and do their homework assignments of performing good works will receive a diploma.
And what has been the reaction to the Cain and Abel School for Prophets? Some have laughed at it; some have called it a fraud, and others have said it is blasphemous.
And what do I think? I think that I'm not a prophet. You probably aren't either. Most of us haven't seen burning bushes or interpreted dreams for pharaoh or been thrown into a den of lions. We haven't seen fiery chariots or fire fall from the sky to burn up our sacrifice and stone altar.
But just because we're not prophets doesn't mean the Holy Spirit has forgotten us.
He hasn't. He has called us by the Gospel. Because of the Savior's sacrifice we who were once lost and condemned have been forgiven and are saved.
Second, the Holy Spirit has given us spiritual gifts, so we might glorify the Savior, encourage each other and build up the church.
Now without the gift of prophecy, I cannot be sure what gift God has given you, but I am sure of two things. First, God has given you a gift and second, He will provide the opportunity for the use of that gift.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, not only have You given me the gift of a Savior and blood-bought forgiveness and eternal life, You have also blessed me with gifts to show my thanks. May I use those gifts boldly and wisely and well. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries