The Gift of Prophecy

Purpose of Prophecy

(1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV) Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
(1 Corinthians 14:22-26 KJV) Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. {23} If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? {24} But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: {25} And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. {26} How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Prophecy is better than speaking in tongues because if one came into a congregation and everyone was speaking different languages and no one was understanding what anyone else was saying, that one would think that everyone was a bit crazy, goofy or whatever.

The purpose of prophecy is to edify, to communicate God's purpose.

The church at Corinth was fascinated with the tongues; Paul tells us in his Epistles to them that they were saved. Although they were saved, they were carnally minded, which means that they were drawn to things that satisfy the flesh.

Please note: 1 Corinthians 14:22 says that tongues are for a sign to those that do not believe and prophesy is for those which believe.

(Acts 2:6-12 KJV) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. {7} And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? {8} And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? {9} Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, {10} Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, {11} Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. {12} And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

On the Day of Pentecost, there were unbelievers in the crowd. They were unbelievers because they did not understand what was happening was prophesied by the prophet Joel.

Role of a prophet

The role of a prophet is to impart truth to the listener.

*God is a God that wants you to know what He is doing. *

Revealer of secrets

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and wanted to know what it meant but he had forgotten the dream. The magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans were told to tell the king his dream and what it meant or they would die.

(Daniel 2:10-11 KJV) The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. {11} And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Daniel was to be included but he had desired that the king give him some more time and he would tell the king his dream.

(Daniel 2:19 KJV) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar the God would make known the dream.

(Daniel 2:22 KJV) He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
(Daniel 2:47 KJV) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

God is the reveals the deep and secret things, He is the revealer of secrets.

What is prophecy?

(Ezekiel 3:1 KJV) Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

Ezekiel was told to go and speak to the house of Israel.

(Ezekiel 2:1-2 KJV) And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. {2} And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Whenever the Spirit enters the word of God is spoken. Prophecy is the out flow of the Holy Spirit who causes the Word of God to be communicated.

(Isaiah 22:14 KJV) And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Here Isaiah says that "it was revealed in his ears"; that means he heard something. Whenever God spoke through prophecy it was real, no question about it.

When Moses communicated to Israel he stated, "Thus saith the Lord", he heard; God speak.

(Acts 2:16-18 KJV) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; {17} And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: {18} And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

The Spirit comes and brings the Word of God, it is spoken (prophecy). Why did this happen? It happened so that the people would be edified; so that they would not be ignorant. God never wants us to be ignorant of what He is doing.

Things more excellent

(Romans 2:17-18 KJV) Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, {18} And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

Israel was instructed in God's will for them.

(Philippians 1:9-10 KJV) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; {10} That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Paul writes that we also approve the things that are more excellent. We need to make wise choices.

Our love will abound more and more in knowledge and judgement; that is, when we understand and approve the things that are more excellent.

Prophecy was to impart God's knowledge so that the people would not be ignorant. Its purpose was to edify and instruct.

Complete Word of God

Today, we have a completed Bible which ends with a warning about adding and subtracting the words of the book.

In the early days of Paul's ministry, he writes that he only sees in part but he expected to see the whole thing.

(1 Corinthians 13:8-13 KJV) Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. {9} For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. {10} But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. {11} When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. {12} For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. {13} And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Now

Then

see darkly see face to face
in part perfect (complete)

When Paul writes that we shall see face to face he is referring to beholding the glory of God in the Word of God.

(2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Paul tells us that faith, hope and charity will not pass away but they will abide forever. The greatest of these is charity.

When the rapture occurs:

  • Faith will become sight
  • Hope will be realized
  • Charity will remain forever

God gave...

(Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: {13} Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Notice that it says that God gave, past tense. This is something that God did in the past. God gave the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints.

"Till we all come into the unity of the faith", faith comes to one place. The perfect, complete Word of God is able to do what prophecy did, edify us so that we will not be ignorant.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.:

All scripture is given..., the word of God equips us to be furnished to do all good works. Prophecy is not longer needed because He gave is something that replaces it.

The prophets were given to prophecy in part until the perfect (completed word of God) was given. Now that we can see face to face, prophesy no longer necessary.

Today, anyone who stands up and claims to be prophesying is actually declaring that he has an equal standing to the written Word of God.

(1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

The Word of God works in you but it is in direct proportion to how much you believe it. The written Word of God is how the Spirit of God speaks to us today.

In the Book of Acts they were filled with the Spirit; today, we are told to be filled with the Spirit.

Be filled with the Spirit

Compare:

(Ephesians 5:18-33 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; {19} Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; {20} Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; {21} Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. {22} Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. {23} For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. {24} Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. {25} Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; {26} That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, {27} That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. {28} So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. {29} For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: {30} For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. {31} For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. {32} This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. {33} Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
(Ephesians 6:1-5 KJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. {2} Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; {3} That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. {4} And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. {5} Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

With:

(Colossians 3:16-22 KJV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. {17} And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. {18} Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. {19} Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. {20} Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. {21} Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. {22} Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Notice the similarities:

  • Give thanks
  • Wives submit
  • Husbands love your wives
  • Children obey your parents
  • Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath (anger)
  • Servants

In Ephesians 5:18 it says to be filled with the Spirit and in Colossians 3:16 it says to let the Word of Christ dwell in you; both have the same results.

How to be filled with the Spirit

In order to be filled with the Spirit, we need to take the Word of Christ and conform our lives to it. We need to live the life of Christ within us.

Being filled with the Spirit today is an objective, an identifiable act; it is letting the Word of God saturate you. Being filled with the Spirit is the Word of Christ working within you.

(John 6:63 KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
(Hebrews 4:12 KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The words that Christ spoke are spirit and life. The Word of God is quick and powerful; it is alive. The Words of God have the life of Christ in them.

Life of Christ

The life of Christ  is available to us in an objective form, in a book.

We know that we have spiritual blessings because we have a book that tells us so.

Whenever you do something because it in response to faith in something you read in the Bible, that is Christ in you.

The Word of God = the life of Christ

(1 Corinthians 2:9-13 KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. {10} But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

How does God reveal the things that eye has not seen? He has revealed them to us in His written Word.

It is what is in the Book that counts!!

Reference used:
Charismatic Miracles, Gifts, Signs and Wonders, and the Bible
The Gift of Prophecy
Speaker: Tom Bruscha

   

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