The Gift of Prophecy: 11

Prophecy also gives direction, purpose, and vision to individuals and groups. Prophecy can provide a focus on which we can hang our goals and plans.

Prov. 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish

Prov. 29:18 (GLT) – Without prophetic vision people run wild

Many times in scripture, people were given warnings through prophecy to turn from their wicked ways and repent. This type of prophecy needs the prior approval of our church leadership. Meeting with leaders and responsible people prior to public utterance can act as a filter to stain off our own frustrations, hurts and personal negativity. This will enable us to give a pure and clean word. If a ‘prophecy’ is shared that the leadership does not agree with, the leadership needs to address it immediately.

Leaders should also keep order in their church. If a person stands up, interrupting a service to share a prophecy or to speak in tongues, the leadership should ask them to sit down. If that person continues they should be removed from the service. Leaders need to teach about proper use of the gifts and allow a certain time for the gifts to be used. The Holy Spirit operates from unity and will not be rude, disrespectful, or create division. Those who are operaring in the gifts need to realize that they should use discernment and respect as to when and how they choose to share the gift. The Spirit does not take control of us; as always, we have freewill and the ability to exhibit self-control, which the Lord desires of us.

1 Cor. 14:29-33 – Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

We need to realize that the Spirit can speak through anyone, and make sure we are not interrupting something He is trying to do through someone else.

1 Cor. 14:36 – did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?

1 Cor. 14:40 – everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

The Gift of Prophecy: 10

Many Christians are sitting in our churches with very little idea of their own worth and value in the Lord. Many people have difficulty in establishing a relationship with God as their Father due to their own poor personal experience in the family home. We serve a God who is committed to our healing at every level (physical, mental, emotional). Prophecy is a wonderful part of the healing and renewing process. Prophecy brings us, by direct communication, into contact with God’s real perspective on our lives and current situations. The goal of prophecy in this context is to open our eyes to God’s love and care, specifically to enable us to come to our senses and escape from any snare in which the enemy has tried to entrap us. It counters our poor attitudes and negative concepts about ourselves and creates an understanding and appreciation of our personal value.

Prophecy will not leave the church feeling confused, degraded or condemned. It will not make them feel intimidated or inferior. Prophecy strengthens our ties to God.

1 Cor. 14:3 – But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Prov. 25:11 –  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

The Gift of Prophecy: 9

 

The church has many people with supernatural gifting and difficult, unlovable character. It is also true that there are many nice Christians with no overt manifestation of the power of the spirit in their lives–we need both.

While it is undoubtably true that the gifts without the fruits are made worthless (1 Corinthians 13:1-2), it is also true that the gospel cannot be preached effectively without power (Romans 1: 16). The fruits are not more important than the gifts. We must not let the enemy push us into a choice that the Holy Spirit has not asked us to make. If we want the fullness of God, that means both the gifts and the fruits together.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

The Gift of Prophecy: 8

Acts 2:38-39 – receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The Holy Spirit is for every generation and EVERY person the Lord calls.

I believe in prophetic evangelism, words of knowledge for the unsaved, gifts of healing across the whole community, expressing God’s heart prophetically in the earth to all peoples. I have been privileged to see non-Christians respond to a prophetic word and beginning their journey into the Kingdom.

Paul said that his preaching was not by word only, but by demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor. 2:4 – My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Cor. 4:20 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

Not many churches these days couple their message and their preaching with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, but this is the Biblical example laid out for us!

God wants us to work in the gifts of the Spirit because He wants our faith to rest in His power. We are ambassadors for His Kingdom and He has given us His power to carry out His will in the Earth. He gives us this power through the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth

We can’t be a witness to the earth without the power of the Holy Spirit. Operating in the gifts of the Spirit is essential.

Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand

God is constantly thinking about us, and the Holy Spirit was given to us so that we can hear His thoughts about us anytime we want to:

1 Cor. 2:10-13 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

I’m really excited that this section of the book falls on this day! God is moving during this 21 days of posting about the prophetic. Earlier this week an opportunity came up, and today I’m doing prophetic evangelism at a public, not christian, event. I can’t wait to share God’s thoughts with people who may have never heard His voice or known His love for them! This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed about, and just so happened to find at the last minute. God pulled together all the people and supplies I needed to be able to accept this offer and the coordinator had even been praying to find someone to fill this position. I can’t wait to share today’s responses with you!

Spiritual gifts get people’s attention, thus making an entrance of the Word more vibrant and irresistible. As soon as a person realizes that God knows them intimately and cares about them, it drives them to want to know Him for themselves.

One time someone prophesied over me that God was going to heal my ear pain, and give me new friends. The person prophesying over me didn’t know I had left my normal friends, and they didn’t know that I had ear pains. In fact, no one knew that I had ear pains, because I had never bothered to tell anyone. God knew. God knew and was concerned enough to talk to me about it. Time and time again I find out how much God knows about me, and people who I’ve never met before prophecy/speak to me about very detailed and unspoken things in my life. God knows every detail of your life. Man doesn’t and can’t, unless they are listening to God’s Holy Spirit.

The Gift of Prophecy: 7

Some believe that prophecy has ceased because everything has been completed:

1 Corinthians 13:8-10 – Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

However, completeness will not come until Christ’s return. Christ is the fulfillment of all knowledge and prophecy, so at His return we won’t see in part, but we’ll see Him face-to-face. Right now you go to church and you get a piece of knowledge, or a piece of a prophecy, but when Christ returns we will see the full picture.

The author himself, in the very same chapter, tells us that completeness is a future event when we will see God face-to-face.

1 Cor. 13:12 – now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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.

The Gift of Prophecy: 5

Integrity is created when we are prepared to break through, however many barriers, no matter the personal cost, in order to live in and be what is right and proper. 

Do not discourage gifting on the basis that it could be wrong or dangerous. We must use every opportunity to exercise our people in rightly dividing the word of truth.

Prophecy has saved me from death more than once, as I’ve referenced in previous blogs: click here. On the other hand, lack of knowledge about prophecy has tormented me, as you’ve witnessed for yourself if you were following my blog this time last year. The pain I’ve experienced did not come from prophecy, but from a lack of knowing about prophecy. However, if we act on a prophetic word out of timing, God is faithful to redeem anything we do in faith in His name. Once you experience God you’ll understand why there’s no turning back. See the life saving power of prophecy and you’ll be hooked to this God ordained gift for mankind. The churches that do not teach the gifts of the Spirit are not only aborting something the Lord birthed, but murdering those who could be saved by the use of these gifts, keeping christians from walking in the perfect Will of God for their lives which includes using their gifts/callings.

God says that in the last day’s everyone will prophesy. Believing this Word from God means being committed to learning and practicing prophesy, as well as humbling ourselves to be the testing ground to work out the kinks, so that the next generation can live in God’s perfect Will, understanding, and use proper prophetic practices. Birthing something has always been a messy process, but that shouldn’t stop us from desiring to see, hold, and nurture what we give birth to and committing to grow it to maturity by seeking God’s Will and ways.