What is a seer and how is a seer distinguished from a prophet? The Bible shows us they are the same …but different.
What is a seer? What’s the difference between a seer and a prophet? Do prophets see visions? And if they do see visions, does that make them the same?
I came across the term “seer” as I was looking into the differences between dreams, visions, words and pictures.
I wasn’t too sure of the answer, so I did my own research, which revealed there’s more to it than meets the eye.
I didn’t know until relatively recently, but I have some experience of being a seer.
I do hear God’s voice on a regular basis, but just as much, I “see” what he is doing.
In other words, I receive words, pictures and sometimes, visions and dreams from him.
On one such occasion, I had a vivid dream about Jesus.
I saw him on the cross, at the moment of his death. He let out a cry and died, and at that moment, I saw an explosion of power in the spirit realm. All the colours of the rainbow were released and moved outward from him.
The explosion issued from what I can only describe as a sudden split between Jesus and the rest of the Godhead. At that moment, his life was ripped away from his heavenly Father and from Holy Spirit.
I didn’t understand this at the time, but I now see that God is life and there is no death in him. So, when Jesus died, he was cut off somehow from the rest of the Trinity.
I wouldn’t want to begin to understand the theology behind this, and I don’t know if there are proper biblical grounds for such thinking (so don’t quote me on it!).
The important thing is what the Lord revealed to me through: From that explosion, there was a wave of power that reached out into the whole universe and also through the whole of time.
When I woke up, this dream had a profound impact on me. I thought about it for days and I ended up asking an artistic friend to paint it as a picture. You can see the results in the featured image for this article.
I ended up using the painting for a sermon in church, a few weeks later.
Although it came through a dream, I saw something in the spirit realm. Something that had a profound impact on the world.
For me, it explained and described how it could be that Jesus’ death on the cross hundreds of miles away and 2000 years ago, could reach across both distance and time to make a difference to people today.
A quick Google turns up the following when I look for a definition of “seer”:
A person of supposed supernatural insight who sees visions of the future.
That makes sense, but surely that’s not much different to a prophet?
I think there is a bit more to it than that.
If I was to define seer, then it would be someone who knows what God is doing, and is about to do, in the heavenly realm and here on the earth.
They know this primarily through watching their Lord, through seeing him go about his work, from a place of intimacy.
Again, a quick look at a definition of “prophet” turns up the following:
A person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God.
A person who predicts what will happen in the future.
But to me, a prophet is simply someone who shares messages from God with one person or many people.
Those messages reveal and convey God’s purposes, intentions and heart for the people involved.
The messages may be told in pictures and visions, but the prophets hear God’s voice, just as much as they see what he is doing.
Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all saw visions of God’s throne, in which they looked upon God himself and learnt profound truths about his nature.
Daniel famously saw powerful visions of the end times and of the climactic events in the nations, that would one day lead up to Jesus’ birth.
These dramatic encounters between the prophets and their heavenly king remind us of his lordship. They remind us of his complete control over history and the ongoing story of the world in which we live.
Each of these men heard God’s voice, but what they saw in his presence forms the main body of how we remember them. They were seers.
A seer is a prophet who sees visions.
They see what God is doing and revealing, rather than just hearing his words.
So a seer is a prophet, but a prophet isn’t necessarily a seer.
It’s not that a seer doesn’t hear God’s voice, or that a prophet doesn’t see him in the spirit. It’s more that each role has an emphasis, a tendency towards one or the other.
For some people, it may be obvious whether they are a prophet or a seer. For others, the line between the two may be more blurred or unclear.
As I said at the beginning, they’re the same, but different!
But this brings me to another important question:
I’ll explore the answer to those questions in more detail, next time.
If you’ve got something to say about prophets and seers, then:
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