Prophecy

Prophecy: God speaking to people through His people regarding their potential or future
1.     Should be desired by believers

1 Corinthians 14:39

Therefore, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:1

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

2.     Should be done in an orderly way

1 Corinthians 14:40

But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

3.     Prophecy does not manipulate – it’s not people’s will/desire

2 Peter 1:21

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

4.     Will not contradict the written word (Bible) or God’s character

Numbers 23:19

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

5.     Its purpose is equipping and empowering people with God’s word

6.     Not contrary to spiritual leadership

7.     Should not be despised

1 Thessalonians 5:19-20

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt

8.     Needs tested – given through imperfect person (speaking) for imperfect people (hearing) and can be in error or misinterpreted

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

9.     Is revelation given in part

1 Corinthians 13:9-10

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

In practice:
1.     Hear God’s voice

John 10:27

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me

Take time to get away from distractions and seek Him and trust that you will hear His voice and that He will speak to you.  He’s the Creator and can use creative ways to speak to us such as:

a.     Audible voice

b.     Dreams/Visions

c.     Impressions

d.     Circumstances

e.     Natural parallels to the spiritual (parables)

2.     Speak God’s word

a.     In love

1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

b.     In humility

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others

Avoid using phrases such as ‘Thus saith the Lord’ and speaking in the first person as if though you are God such as ‘My desire for you is to’ and use phrases such as ‘I believe that God is saying’.