The Gift of Prophecy: 6

The argument runs that because we have the whole revelation of God in scripture, that the gift of prophecy is no longer necessary. It is interesting that many of the people who hold this view would still pray for a miracle or a gift of healing! It is also interesting that they think Christians have reached unity in the faith and reached their full potential of Christ likeness:

Eph. 4:11-13 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up UNTIL we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

This scripture clearly states that prophets have a role in today’s denominationally divided and immature church body.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

 Mal. 3:6 – I the Lord do not change

Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Isn’t it interesting that although God says he doesn’t change, and although he works through prophecy in the Old and New Testament, some still believe He’s gone mute. They believe God doesn’t have anything else to say to us, even though He tells us that the Holy Spirit will continue speaking to us and that we should desire to prophesy?

John 16:12 – I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

Isn’t it also strange that the Holy Spirit would be promised to be with us forever, but not all of him? Why do we say, ‘No, Holy Spirit, we don’t want tongues or prophecy; just give us your presence, miracles, healing, wisdom, and knowledge?

John 14:16 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed… I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit… Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Everyone loves miracles, so why are we scared of these others? We’re scared because there has been complete lack of teaching, and in some cases false teaching. That shouldn’t deter us from wanting to receive all the things God has for us, especially when they’re as awesome or more awesome than miracles. After all, Paul tells us that prophecy is more desirable than miracles:

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

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The Gift of Prophecy: 4

The only answer to misuse in all areas of church life is not non-use but proper use. Truth is always our best safeguard against deviation.

Scripture shows us not to despise prophecy, but instead to examine carefully and hold on to the good part of the word after weighing it (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21). Prophecy has been in use throughout church history, greater and some centuries than others. Prophecy usually goes into decline when church leaders usurp their authority and try to control what is said and done in the Body of Christ.

There has always been false prophecy along with false teaching, throughout church history. False teaching is wreaking havoc in churches today, so do we now abandon teaching for fear of abuse or misuse? Or do we seek to introduce proper use of accountable teaching as an honor to God? Where there has been abuse, we must work even harder to reclaim the whole ground. Many peoples lives have been damaged by wrong pastoral advice, far more than by the prophetic. There would appear to be few, if any, checks and balances for the role of a pastor in the modern church even though Christ gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors to create a system of checks and balances. For every true thing, there is also a counterfeit. There is truthful teaching and truthful prophecy, just as there is false teaching and false prophecy. The counterfeit of anything prove the existence of the authentic.