When you reveal to someone what will happen tomorrow, whether it’s good or bad, and you direct him to the path based on your knowledge of the system which isn’t yet revealed to him, then you are like a prophet in relation to that person, because you are one step ahead of him.
What does it mean to ascend up the spiritual ladder? In our world, it means to move forward “in time.” But what is time? What does it mean that a Kabbalist accelerates and “sanctifies” the time? It means that he ascends. In other words, he has already attained the state that the world will reach several years later. This is why he speaks to the people and warns them: “Be careful!”
It’s like a labyrinth, where some people have entered the labyrinth and are lost there, but he watches them from above and directs them: “Go left, go right, now this way, then that way.” And this is how he leads them out of the labyrinth.
There are several labyrinths in the world that have been specifically designed for us. Once you enter one, you cannot find your way out, as each one is a unique kind of adventure. But our adventure has become dangerous, and those who are above, those who have already gone through this path and who know the method and the program, plan, map, or compass; those who have mastered this entire system, all its lanes and laws, and everything that happens in it – these people are called prophets in relation to everyone else.
You can’t be a guide unless you have already gone through several degrees of this path. Otherwise you will not be able to lead those who want to follow you down the same path.
(Excerpt from the lesson on Baal HaSulam’s article, “One Precept,” on 03.18.2009)