II. What is the prophetical office of Christ?
Having considered what we are to understand by the anointing of Christ, we must now speak briefly of the three-fold office, or of the three parts of the office of the mediator unto which Christ was anointed. And in order that we may have a proper understanding of this subject, we must define what the terms prophet, priest, and king signify, which may be gathered from the parts of the office which these persons severally discharged.

The word prophet comes from the Greek profhthv, which means to publish things that are to come. In general, a prophet is a person called of God, to declare and explain His will to men concerning things present or future, which otherwise would have remained unknown, inasmuch as the truths which he reveals are of such a nature that men, of themselves, could never have attained a knowledge of them. A prophet is either a minister, or the head and chief of the prophets, which is Christ. Of those prophets which were ministerial, some were of the Old and some of the New Testament. Among the latter there were some that were generally, and others specially, so called.

The prophets of the Old Testament were persons immediately called, and sent of God to his people, that they might reprove their errors and sins, by threatening punishment upon offenders and inviting men to repentance that they might declare and expound the true doctrine and worship of God and preserve it from falsehood and corruption; that they might make known and illustrate the promise of the Messiah the benefits of his kingdom, and might foretell events that were to come, having the gift of miracles, and other sure and divine testimonies so that they could not err in the doctrine which they declared; and at the same time sustaining certain relations to the state, and performing duties of a civil character.

A prophet of the New Testament specially so called, was a person immediately called of God, and furnished with the gift of prophecy for the purpose of fore-seeing, and fore-telling things to come; such were Paul, Peter, Agabus, &c. Whoever has the gift of understanding, explaining, and applying the holy Scriptures to the edification of the church, and individuals, is a prophet, generally, so called. It is in this sense the term is used in 1 Cor. 14 : 3, 4, 5, 29.

Christ is the greatest and chief prophet, and was immediately ordained of God, and sent by him from the very commencement of the church in Paradise, for the purpose of revealing the will of God to the human race ; instituting the ministry of the word and the sacraments, and at length manifesting himself in the flesh, and proving by his divine teaching and works that he is the eternal and con-substantial Son of the Father, the author of the doctrine of the gospel, giving through it the Holy Spirit, kindling faith in the hearts of men, sending apostles, and collecting to himself a church from the human family in which he may be obeyed, invoked and worshipped.

The prophetical office of Christ is, therefore,
1. To reveal God and his whole will to angels and men, which could only be made known through the Son, and by a special revelation. “He who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of my Father. (John 1:18; 8:26.) It was also the office of Christ to proclaim the law, and to keep it free from the errors and corruptions of men.

2. To institute and preserve the ministry of the gospel; to raise up and send forth prophets, apostles, teachers, and other ministers of the church; to confer on them the gift of prophecy, and furnish them with the gifts necessary to their calling. “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists,” &c. “Therefore said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets, and apostles,” &c. “For I will give you a mouth, and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay, nor resist.” “The Spirit of Christ spoke through the prophets.” (Ep. 4:11. Luke 11:49; 21:15. 1 Pet. 1: 11.)

3. It pertains to the prophetical office of Christ that he should be efficacious through his ministry, in the hearts of those that hear, to teach them internally by his Spirit, to illuminate their minds, and move their hearts to faith and obedience by the gospel. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” “Then opened he their understandings, that they might understand the scriptures.” “Christ gave himself for the church that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” “The Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things spoken by Paul.” “The Lord gave testimony unto the word of his grace.” (Matt. 3:11. Luke 24:45. Ep. 5:26. Mark 16: 20. Acts 16: 14; 14: 3.) To sum up the whole in a few words, the prophetical office of Christ consists of three parts:

To reveal the will of the Father to institute a ministry, and to teach internally, or effectually through the ministry. These three things Christ has performed from the very commencement of the church, and will perform even to the end of the world, and that by his authority, power and efficacy. Hence, Christ is called the Word not only in respect to the Father, by whom he was begotten when beholding himself in contemplation, and considering the image of himself, not vanishing away, but subsisting, con-substantial, and co-eternal with the Father himself; but also in respect to us, because he is the person that spake to the fathers, and brought forth the living word, or gospel from the bosom of the Father.

Hence it is apparent from what has now been said, what is the difference between Christ and other prophets, and why he is called the greatest teacher, and prophet, and so the chief of all prophets.

1. Christ is the Son of God, and Lord of all; the other prophets were only men, and servants of Christ.

2. Christ brought forth and uttered the word immediately from the Father to men; other prophets and apostles are called and sent by Christ.

3. The prophetical wisdom of Christ is infinite; for even according to his humanity, he excelled all others in every gift.

4. Christ is the fountain of all truth, and the author of the ministry: other prophets merely proclaim and reveal what they receive from Christ. Hence Christ is said to have spoken through the prophets. Neither does he reveal his doctrine to the prophets alone, but to all the godly. Hence it is said, “of his fullness have we all received,” &c. (John 1:16.)

5. Christ preaches effectually through his own external ministry, and that of those whom he calls into his service, by virtue of the Holy Spirit operating upon the hearts of men: other prophets are the instruments which Christ employs, and are co-workers together with him.

6. The doctrine of Christ is clearer and more complete than that of Moses and all the other prophets.

7. Christ had authority of himself; others have their authority from Christ. “We believe Christ when he speaks on account of himself, but we believe others because Christ speaks in them.