MEMORY VERSE: But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 2 Thessalonians
The gift of prophecy is a gift manifested when the believer speak the mind of God by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and not from their own thoughts. There are three ways prophecy minister to believers: edification also known as building up, exhortation also known as urging on, and comfort also known as consoling. 1 Corinthians 14:3 says, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” If an earthly father never corrected his children, it would be harmful and unloving. They wouldn’t grow up and mature normally. On the other hand, if the father was always telling them they were wrong, and never told them that he loved them and appreciated them, love wouldn’t grow between the parent and the children. Prophecy is not only “woe to this”, “woe to that”. No! It is a balance of exhortation and comfort. Please note that valid prophecy will not be harshly condemnatory of believers, but it may strongly counsel them. Although prophecy is mainly for believers, it can bring unbelievers to God (1 Corinthians 14:24-25).
In the Old Testament, there were men and women who were moved of God to prophesy. These prophets where chosen by God to speak His word to the people, usually ministering combining the gifts of prophecy and knowledge, and often doing other ‘mighty acts’ by the power of God. Many a time God’s will and intention is revealed through them. There are two major types of prophecies: conditional prophecy and unconditional prophecy. Certain conditions have to be met for a conditional prophecy to come to pass. Usually any prophecy concerning the future had an ‘if’ connected with it. A typical example can be found in the book of Jonah. The Lord sent Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh. Jonah 3:4 says, “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” But, the people of Nineveh repented in sackclothes and ashes. What would have been the point of bothering to send Jonah if there was no chance for them to repent? Since they repented i.e. met the conditions for mercy, Nineveh wasn’t overthrown. Unconditional prophecy concerns God’s definite plan for example, the coming of Jesus. Isaiah 53 is a perfect example – it is one of the greatest prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Lord Jesus. The ‘unconditional’ prophecies are mainly given for guide-posts to believers, so that we may discern the ‘signs of the times’. We are not supposed to be arguing with prophecies, but simply noting them as they come to pass, so that we know where we are in God’s time plan.
Also in Old Testament, God could not yet, by His Spirit, come to dwell in His people, but the Holy Spirit did come down to anoint certain people as they yielded to God. The Spirit rested on them. Ever since the day of Pentecost and outpouring of the Holy Spirit, any yielded child of God can be moved by the Holy Spirit to prophesy. Women are permitted to minister in prayer and prophesy as long as they are under ‘leadership’, that is, submitted to male leadership.
NOTE: Prophecy must always agree with the written Word of God. Please discard any prophecy that is not in consonance with the Word of God. The prophecy to eat grass does not agree with the written Word of God. The only human that ate grass in the written Word of God is Nebuchadnezzar and that happened after the Lord got angry with him and turned him into a beast!
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world