A. Misunderstanding about prophecy.
B. What the Gift of Prophecy is:
I’ve given prophecies before that some thought
I was just praying out loud and then I prayed hard out loud once and
someone thought it was a prophecy so this gift is not as easily
recognized as a tongue and interpretation message. People are more
familiar with that kind of prophesy. I believe that tongues and
interpretation is also prophecy.
C. The purpose for the gift of prophecy is
D. When does it occur?
E. Who does God use?
F. Examples from God’s word:
King Saul in 1 Samuel 10. This was before
he backslid. This reminds me of the words of Jesus when people would
come up to him and say, “Lord have we not prophesied in thy name?” Jesus
said unto them, depart from me, I never knew you. I don't know if King
Saul once know the Lord or not but he fell away from the Lord in later
life, but doing the will of God until the time we go to be with Jesus is
what counts, not whether we prophesied once a few years ago.
Jesus' words though seem to indicate that He never knew them and were
not those that followed Him from the beginning. That doesn't mean
that some people can know the Lord at one time and then fall away. They
During the days of Moses, Numbers 11 when
Joshua got jealous for Moses’ sake. Moses said, “Enviest thou for my
sake? Would to God that all the Lords’ people were prophets and that the
Lord would put his spirit upon them?". This should be our attitude. We
should desire that all of us speak in tongues and prophesy. We should
rejoice to see people used by the Holy Spirit.
The book of Joel speaks of this, “Joel 2:28
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon
all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men
shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the
servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."
This speaks mostly of the time the Jews will
be restored to their land and find out who the Messiah is but the first
outpouring of this was recorded in the book of Acts. The latter day
outpouring began in the late 1800s and early 1900s in different parts of
the world in about the same time period. The final outpouring will be
during the tribulation period. We do not have to wait for a certain time
period, it’s God’s will that we be filled with the spirit and allow His
spirit to use us any time.
Philip had four daughters who prophesied in
Acts 21. Yes, it was for women too. Because of this fact, Paul had to
mean something else when he spoke of a woman keeping silent. It is
impossible to prophesy without speaking in an audible voice.
Paul laid hands on some in Acts 19. Then
they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Not all receive the Holy Spirit
with the laying on of hands but it does happen this way occasionally. We
cannot limit God to one way or another. The minute we try to make rules
about how a person receives the Holy Spirit, God will baptize someone in
a different way. It does not have to be in church or the same way we
received the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:41 Elizabeth was full of the spirit
when she spoke to Mary the mother of Jesus. I believe Elizabeth’s words
to Mary was prophecy.
Paul urges us to seek this gift above all
others. 1 Corinthians 14:1. I believe this is because that is the main
purpose of every single born again believer. He or she is to speak God’s
word to those that have not heard or need to be disciple and taught the
word. A word from God is greater than a healing from God. Faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God. I know this gets off the gift of
prophecy a little but the verse by verse study of scripture to me is
just as important as any other part of worship.
I can’t understand anyone that thinks studying
God’s word is a little less important or not as important as preaching,
singing or worshipping. To me the word, “We are having church tonight
but it is only bible study,” is wrong. How can we have “only bible
We are not to despise prophecy.
1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that
which is good.
Modern churches are so afraid of fanaticism or
they want to be the one in charge and run everything that worship is
suppressed or confined to the song service. If someone praises God in
another tongue they get bent out of shape and start quoting Paul. As
long as no one is preaching, prophesying or teaching and it is time for
prayer, praise or worship, there is nothing wrong with speaking in
tongues, remember it is a gift from God too and we are not to quench the
spirit. We are not to forbid the speaking in tongues, interpretation or
prophecy. If it is proper to pray out loud in a known tongue, it
is also propter to pray in tongues or what we call, "In the Spirit."
We are to prove all things and judge whether
or not a prophetic utterance is truth. Remember to judge the words, not
the person speaking them.
For example, someone may come to us and tell
us a dream that had. They feel the dream is from God. When we hear the
dream, we doubt it is from God. That doesn’t make the person a bad
person and “not of God.” That just means that they were mistaken. The
gifts are perfect but the vessels are not. We can get nervous, scared,
excited, emotional, shake, tremble, or feel nothing. We know them by
their fruits, not by their tongues, interpretation of prophecy. In
saying that though, we should be seeking these things not shying away
from them but do all with love. That 13th chapter of Corinthians didn’t
get between chapter 12 and 14 by accident.
We are to covet to prophesy. 1Co 14:39
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with
The same Paul who mentions the rules and
regulations governing speaking in tongues and prophecy also says not to
forbid the same. Now if we are not to forbid these things, why has the
church forbidden these things? Why have even Pentecostal churches gotten
away from being Pentecostal? I have been in many Pentecostal churches
where one could not tell it was Pentecostal.
We don’t have to throw the baby out with the
bathwater. We need to encourage the gifts of the spirit among all of us
but have discernment along with them. That is why we have a pastor. Not
to Lord over us or forbid any of us to worship, speak or prophesy but to
preside over the meetings, make sure everything is done to glorify God
and bring forth His word, and to keep order. I don’t want any of my
words to be misunderstood. A good church needs a pastor. We don’t want
to even go there…..having a church without someone called of God to be
in charge. Someone has to make sure the word of God is taught either by
him or someone else reliable. If we don’t do that, people tend to
gossip, talk foolishness and waste time. I can do that stuff at home, I
don’t need to go to church for foolishness.
Prophesy is to be given one at a time, not
everyone speaking at once. Here is where perfect love comes in. If we
were made perfect in love, we would not want to say or do anything to
hinder the word going forth, the body of Christ being edified, and the
will of the Spirit done. We don’t want to speak just to be heard above
everyone else. We don’t want to speak just to show off. We want to speak
at the will of the spirit and at a time when it will edify the church.
When all is done in love, these things work out and harmonize perfectly.
That should be our goal. I’ll close with this thought. Perfect love also
casts out all fear. We will not be afraid of the gifts of the spirit if
we are made perfect in love.