Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On Prophecy

Prophecy 101
What is it?

The gift of prophecy is the ability to speak the will of God into the lives of others. It has the purpose of bringing edification, exhortation, and encouragement to the Body of Christ, either individually or as a corporate body through knowledge of God’s Will
1 Corinthians 14:3 (KJV) But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Who is a Prophet?
Now it is important to understand that there is a difference between the Gift of Prophecy and the Office of a Prophet, one is a Gift of the Spirit and the other is a specific ministry office given to the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11 tells us that there are 5 ministry offices each one with a purpose and anointing on that office, they are;
  1. Apostle,
  2. Prophet,
  3. Evangelist,
  4. Pastors, and
  5. Teachers.

Respectively there are 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit they are;
  1. Word of Wisdom,
  2. Word of Knowledge,
  3. Faith,
  4. The Gift of Healing,
  5. The Working of Miracles,
  6. Prophecy,
  7. Discerning of Spirits,
  8. Divers Type of Tongues and
  9. Interpretation of Tongues.
Just because a person has the gift of prophecy does not mean that person walks in the office of a prophet, Because God can and will use anyone to express His will toward the Body of Christ we can not assume that just because someone prophesize does not mean he or she is a prophet. This confusion my lead us to honor a person because of an office for which they do not hold. Also pride may lead even a man of God to assume he is greater than he is operating in an office for which he has no anointing.
1 Corinthians 14:31 (KJV) For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
When Paul speaks of the offices of the ministry he makes clear that Apostle, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastor and Teachers are separate and distinct offices. A person may have the ability to teach, and evangelize and even be given to prophecy, but can only walk in the office of that which his has the anointing to walk in. Just because a prophet can preach does not make him or her pastor. A prophet is called to prophesize, a teacher is to teach, and likewise an evangelist is to evangelize. If a person decides to walk in the office of pastor as well as prophet he will surely fail at the office for which he has no anointing. This is important because God may have given him to become a teacher.
All of us can have prophecy from God but not all of us are prophets, all saints are called to evangelize but not all of us are evangelist. We must walk in the office for which there is an anointing. Being in the proper position, and function in the right office in the body of Christ is absolutely necessary for a healthy body. Consider this, if our liver tried to the job of our brain we would all be blithering idiots because the liver has no ability to generate thought, nor control actions of our limbs or any of the things that the brain must do. Likewise the brain can not function as the liver because it can not filter toxins from our blood stream nor signal the pancreas to produce insulin so that we may assimilate the foods that we eat. If the brain tried to do the things of the liver we would quickly die from the poisons of our own body, or suffer from starvation even while eating three square meals a day.
Romans 12:6 (KJV) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Counterfeit Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Some teach that apostles and prophets don’t exist today, they say things, they even teach to the congregation that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and even the Office of the Apostle and Prophet died when the first apostles died. This is completely non Scriptural there is nowhere in the bible that says the gifts of the Holy Spirit or certain offices ended while other offices remained at the death of the original twelve or any other time for that matter. This is the doctrine of men not of God in Christ Jesus.
Likewise there is a powerful teaching that is counterfeit which has changes the Gift of the Holy Spirit. So that we would have no power, this is the work of Satan toward man to deceive you. If anyone tell you anything about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, what they are, if they are still in working today, or anything which they can not back with scripture run away from them as fast as you can. The bible and the bible alone is the authority of the gifts and promises of God not what a person opinion says.(Deuteronomy 4:2).
On Free Will and Prophecy
Because God has given us free will prophecy can be inaccurate, or what is prophesized may not come to past because the prophet of God is only speaking God Will. We as creatures of free still have the ability to move out of God’s Will. This allow us to buffer harsh prophecy and fulfill prophecy which we love by our obedience to God. So we say that prophecy is God's will for a person's life or a local Body of Christ.
The Ways of receiving Prophecy
Sometimes the Holy Spirit reveals to the prophet what needs to be said at the instance it need to be said, there is no thought or premeditation of what God reveals to the prophet. this is one of the ways a prophet recieves prophecy from God

1 Corinthians 2:12 (KJV) 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.
A prophet may receive prophecy through visions, when this happens he or she may see what God has revealed even though others around see nothing.
  1. Acts 9:10 (KJV) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
  2. Numbers 24:4 (KJV) He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
    Through dreams and night visions a prophet may receive the word of God. Dreams are one of the ways God said he would reveal His Will to prophets. of all ways to recieve God will dreams are the most common way and is experienced at least once by almost every beliver.
    1. Daniel 7:1-28
    A prophet may also receive prophecy through angels. The act of seeing an angel manisfestation in flesh is called theophany. Almost every time there is a theophany in the bible prophey is given to the individual that experienced the theophany.
      1. Revelation 1:1 (KJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John
      2. Acts 10:22 (KJV) And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
    The Different Types of Prophets
    Not all prophet receive God Will the same way, and because they receive differently that are often named or called by the way they recieve the Word of God
    1. Some prophet receive their message from God through visions and dreams these prophets are called “Seers
    2. Some hear the voice of God speaking directly to them, they are called “Hearers”;
    3. If a prophet receive God’s Will through the perception of their spirit these prophets are called “Sensors;”
    4. And a very few prophets do not actually recieve God's Will but instead just know what it is God wants to reveal to his people that are called “Knowers
    `Different Ways a Prophet Disseminates Prophecy
    Prophecy can be given in a number of ways two of which are the lower level prophecy (anyone may give prophecy this way) and the higher level of prophecy given only to those operating in the office of a prophet.
    1. Lower level Prophecy
      lower level prophecy is a way in which God gives prophecy to those not walking in the office of a prophet. However, someone who is walking in the office of a prophet may receive from God prophecy in this way as well. It is important to know
      1. By simply speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit God will give his world to whomever he desires for the edification of the local body of Christ.

        1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV)
        He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
      1. Through prophesying in song or with music:
    1 Chronicles 25:3 (KJV) Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
      Ephesians 5:19 (KJV) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
      1. Higher Level Prophecy;
        Higher level prophecy is prophecy which comes from a prophet that is walking in the office of a prophet. Because the office of prophet is an office that God alone can call one to, God speaks to him that walks in the office of prophet more freely and set him apart from others that prophesize.
      Numbers 12:6-8 (NIV) …he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD…

        1. Higher level prophecy may be expressed through acting out in parables this is exclusively done through the office of the Prophet.
      1 Samuel 15:27-28 (KJV) And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
      Acts 21:10-11 (KJV)
      And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

        1. Higher level Prophecy may also be expressed by writing down the prophecy, this is almost exclusively give to congregations and always for the edification, exhortation and encouragement to the Body of Christ. In this way God give prophecy to the prophet in advance and the prophecy is held until God desires to have it delivered.

          Please note that prophecy written in a book is not in any way an addition to scripture, nor is it to be considered for anyone except whom it was given to.

          Revelation 1:11 (KJV)
          Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

          Jeremiah 36:18 (KJV) Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.
      Hope you enjoyed this little section on prophecy, there is so much more to cover, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.

      Your brother in Christ
      T. Charves FireSpeaks

      The Holy Bible through BibleGateway