THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

HIS GLORY REIGNS
B. Childress
Jun 8 2007 08:00AM


Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant...Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord, And there are diversities of operations, but it is
the same God which worketh all in all.
1Corinthians 12:1-6


But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of
wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts
of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles;
TO ANOTHER PROPHECY; to another discerning of
spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he wi
ll.  1 Corinthians 12:7-11

The gifts of the Holy  Spirit (or manifestations as identified by Paul) are manifested through individual believers as the
Spirit of God wills.  Spiritual gifts are not given to the individual for personal benefit, but to 'profit' a whole assembly or
body of believers.  When the gifts of the Spirit are in manifestation, They will always exalt the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
TRY THE SPIRITS:  "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that
spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that should come... " 1John 4:2-3    

First Corinthians 12:3 states,
"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth
Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
(When the Holy Spirit is in
manifestation).

The Gift of Prophecy (gift of inspiration or utterance)

  • "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."  1Corinthians 14:22
  • Prophecy is supernatural utterance in a known tongue.
  • The Hebrew meaning of the phase  "to prophecy" is to flow forth; to bubble forth like a fountain, to let drop, to lift
    up, to tumble forth, and to spring forth.
  • The Greek word that is translated "prophecy" means to speak for another.  So prophecy can mean to speak for
    God or to be His spokesman.
  • Prophecy is the most important of the three gifts of inspiration or utterance;  It stands alone in that it needs no
    other gift to complete it.  The gifts of tongues and the interpretation of tongues together are the equivalent to
    the gift of prophecy.  The Bible says, "...greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues,
    except he interpret..." 1 Corinthians 14:5
  • The simple gift of prophecy contains  no revelation or prediction.  The simple gift of prophecy is given for
    edification, exhortation, and comfort.  Paul said, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and
    exhortation, and comfort." 1 Corinthians 14:3  A good testimony, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the simple gift of
    prophecy.

The three ministries of (simple) prophecy:

  • Edification - to build up, strengthen:  if someone is weak spiritually, prophecy will build him up.  For example, if
    someone is fearful, a word of prophecy can remove the fear.

  • Exhortation - Encouragement, a calling nearer to God:  for example, a word of prophecy can exhort a church
    fellowship to holiness, consecration, and separation from the world ("Jesus is coming soon.  Don't stop here.  
    Don't let the world come in like a flood - keep moving with God.")  A word of prophecy exhorts us to keep
    ourselves built up and strong in the Lord.

  • Comfort - Consolation:  the healing of distress, of sorrow, of persecution, or suffering.  Many people come to
    church emotionally distressed (broken lives, broken homes, broken ambitions): "The church needs divine
    comfort from the Holy Spirit to bring heaven's healing into their hearts."  

According to Lester Sumrall, these three ministries of prophecy  edification, exhortation, and comfort should be
functioning in every prayer group and church fellowship. ( LS p. 114)

  • Sometimes there is an element of prophecy in preaching or ministering to another when a person is anointed by
    the Spirit and is inspired to say things spontaneously that comes from his spirit rather than his head; the gift of
    prophecy has gone beyond speaking by reasoning and intellectual processes.
  • Prophecy in the Old Testament was essentially foretelling (prediction).  In the New Testament, the gift of
    prophecy strongly shifts to forthtelling.  Here we find where the gift of (simple) prophecy is abused - instead of
    people forthtelling, they try to bring forth some foretelling (prediction).  Many lives have been ruined and many
    unfortunate things have happened because of the misuse of this gift.  
  • Romans 12:6 says, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let
    us prophecy according to the proportion of faith;" If a person prophesies things that do not come to pass. he or
    she is speaking beyond his or her faith and should stop. (LS p. 116)

Example of The Gift of Prophecy from the New Testament

In 1Corinthians 14:1, we find Paul speaking to the church at Corinth,  "Follow after charity (love) and desire spiritual
gifts, but rather that ye may PROPHESY... "
We are told to desire spiritual gifts, but especially that we might prophesy.  
We see it again in 1Corinthians 14:39,
"Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy..." We all should desire to prophesy.  
God would not tell us to covet something that wasn't available to us.

Every Spirit-filled believer can prophesy and could know something about the anointing to prophesy.  The Bible
teaches that:
"For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." (1Corinthians 14:31)
(KH2 p. 65)

The Gift of Prophecy in the Office of the Prophet (also known as a Seer in the Old Testament)

  • Operating in the gift of prophecy does not  make you a Prophet.  While Paul encourages us to "covet to
    prophesy," in 1Corinthians 12:28 he states that all are not prophets.
  • To constitute standing in the office of the prophet, a person needs to have at least two of the three revelation
    gifts  (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, or discerning of spirits) operating on a continual basis in his life and
    ministry plus the gift of prophecy.  In addition, he would need to have been called to the five-fold ministry as a
    preacher or teacher of the Word (Ephesians 4:11,12). Prophets also experience dreams and visions on a
    continual basis.
  • The revelation (word of wisdom and/or word of knowledge) given forth in a prophet's ministry may sometimes be
    discomforting because it sometimes brings with it correction or conviction of sin.
  • The prophetic office always predicts the future; the gift of prophecy never predicts the future.
  • Prophecy through the office of the prophet carries more authority because of the revelatory nature of the
    prophecies (the spirit of prophecy).
  • Yield to the Spirit of God.

The Gift of Prophecy in Corporate Worship

  • The gift of prophecy is mentioned in 1Corinthians 14:26,  "How is it then, brethren? When you 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."  This scripture shows us that the Spirit of God is more apt to move when folks
    come together in the Name of Jesus to worship.  The gifts and revelations delivered through the vehicle of
    prophecy, are more likely to be manifested in an atmosphere of praise and worship.
  • Paul said, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in
    psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" (Ephesians 5:
    18,19). Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are not songs that  are sung out of a songbook.  They are songs
    given by the inspiration of the Spirit of God; Psalms and hymns come through the spirit of prophecy as an
    inspired utterance, and therefore could also come through the vehicle of tongues and interpretation.

The Gift of Prophecy in One's Prayer Life

  • Through this gift of prophecy we can speak supernaturally, not only unto believers and for our own personal
    benefit, but we can also speak supernaturally unto God.
  • Prophesying in your own personal prayer life begins with speaking in other tongues (supernatural utterance in
    an unknown tongue).  However, when you pray with prophecy, you can listen to yourself speak in a known
    tongue and therefore know what you are saying.  Very often praying in tongues is a springboard to go into
    prophesy - we must remember that prophecy in it's broadest sense is inspired utterance.  
  • Praying in prophecy can carry with it a more authoritative anointing because you can actually be praying out a
    word of knowledge or a word of wisdom in prayer through the vehicle of prophecy; you are actually praying out
    the plan and purpose of God for your own life in prayer.
  • There is a distinction between praying out the plan of God in your private prayer life (the word of wisdom
    delivered by the vehicle of prophecy) and the word of wisdom manifesting through a believer in prophecy in
    public ministry.  Because the Holy Spirit may show the believer things to come in private times of prayer, does
    not necessarily mean that the word of wisdom will operate through the believer publicly.  
  • The fact that the word of knowledge and/or word of wisdom may operate in the believer's prayer life also doesn't
    make him or her a prophet.

The Gift of Prophecy is not...

  • Foretelling the future.

  • A ministry of guidance.  Guidance is not one of the three ministries under the gift of prophecy

  • A ministry of preaching.  Preaching means to proclaim and pronounce the Good News - the Gospel of Jesus
    Christ and comes from the natural mind. Prophecy is the mind of the Holy Spirit speaking to us in a supernatural
    utterance:  this utterance comes from a person anointed to speak the treasures of God to the Body of Christ.

  • A ministry of rebuke.  There is no element of rebuke in prophecy; there is encouragement.

  • A ministry of criticism.  Prophecy is not one person's opinion against another.  It is a divine operation under the
    anointing of God designed to warn believers of sin or shortcomings - getting them in line with God's Word,
    building them up.

  • A gift which cannot be controlled under certain conditions.  According to 1Corinthians 14:32, the possessor of
    the gift of prophecy can control that gift:  "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." Whenever a
    person says of their utterances, "I can't stop doing this," you can be sure that an alien spirit is involved.  At no
    time is a person bound by the manifestation of a spiritual gift. (LS p. 115)

  • Without guidelines. First Corinthians 14:29 tells how the gift of prophecy is regulated:  "Let the prophets speak
    two or three, and let the other judge."  There should be at the most only three messages of prophecy in one
    meeting.  Even if you should feel a thrust to prophesy, you should control it if God has already spoken three
    times.  The Word says that is enough for one service.  Verse 33 tells how this gift can be safeguarded and
    protected:  "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." (LS p. 115)

  • A gift you can operate without the unction of the Spirit of God.

In 1Thessalonians 5:20 we are told plainly:
"Despise not prophesyings." Lester Sumrall states that some pastors and
ministers do not want the gift of prophecy to function in their churches because they cannot personally control it.  That
when dealing with the supernatural, there is a certain element of danger involved and when the gifts of the Spirit are
not functioning properly, they can be dangerous to the Church.  The gifts of the Spirit have a proper place and a
proper time.  To function best, they should function at that place and time.          (LS p. 116)

Example of The Gift of Prophecy from the Prophetic Office in the
Old Testament

Isaiah 53 is one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible.  The great prophet Isaiah foretold of the sin-bearing servant:
the Messiah, Jesus Christ. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he
hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised
and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was
despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed... Isaiah 53:2-5

Example of the Gift of Prophecy from the New Testament

Acts 21:9 tells of Phiip's four daughters, And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. They
were not prophets, but they prophesied.  They had a ministry of edifying the Church, but they did not fortell the future.

Twenty-First Century Prophecy by Kenneth E. Hagin:

"We're moving up now into the things of God! And I heard the Spirit say, There will come
further revelation along these lines, but it has to come line upon line, precept upon precept.  
And as it comes, men and women will flow with the Spirit, and there will be such a
manifestation of My power and My glory and My spirit and My anointing in these days - in this
decade in which you live - that it will startle men.

Now many who are on the fringes of the move of God will draw back and say, "Ahhh, that's
fanaticism.  No, we can't go with that.  We believe in doing things in a nice, sedate manner."  
Never, never, never feel resentment toward others who may criticize you, or who may speak
against you.  Never allow the least bit of resentment or ill will, or bad feelings, but walk on.  
Walk on in love. Walk on in power. Walk on in the Spirit.  Walk on with the Lord, and He'll
come unto thee and manifest Himself unto thee.

And it is even written in the Holy Scriptures that His coming unto us shall be as the rain.  And
so the Holy Ghost will fall, and the power of God will be in manifestation, and great shall be
the reward thereof.  And many shall be blessed, and great and good days stand just ahead.

Walk on.  Yea, ye shall see, for the glory of the Lord shall appear unto thee.  But most will
move with the Spirit, and all will acknowledge, "There are miracles happening over there.  I
guess God just saw fit to have mercy on them."  But no, they saw fit to go with God, for He is
at work in the earth tonight and He indwells His Body which is the Church, which is the house
of God.  And His glory will fill that temple.  Many will say, "I just don't go along with those
things.  We have a pretty good church here.  God has put His approval upon us." But yea,
saith the Lord of Hosts, I only put my approval upon that which lines up with my Word.

Get into the Word and let the Spirit open the Word to you.  Not only unto your mind, but get
the revelation of it in your spirit.  And your spirit will be more alive unto the things of God.  And
He - through your spirit - will be able to teach you, admonish you, and direct you."

Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin (KH2 p. 164-165)      




Sources

The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, Kenneth E. Hagin, Copyright 1991, RHEMA Bible Church.

The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit, Lester Sumrall, Copyright 1982, Lester Sumrall Evangelical Association
(LeSEA).

Understanding the Anointing, Kenneth E. Hagin, Copyright 1983, RHEMA Bible Church.
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