The Gift of Prophecy: Part 1
23 Jan'19 5
THE GIFT OF PROPHECY: PART 1You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.
In this edition, we continue with our series on The Gifts of the Spirit. The topic for this study is: The Gift of Prophecy: Part 1. In
12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
12:10 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:"
In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, God empowered men and women with the gift of prophecy. Through these prophets, the Lord provided messages of comfort, encouragement, reproof and warning to His people. Because of the important role that the prophets played among God's people, Satan always sought to also raise false prophets whose sole purpose was to counterfeit the true gift of prophecy and through that turn the hearts of the people away from Jehovah (see
Because of the questionable characters portrayed by many of the so called 'prophets' of today, some in Christendom have asked whether the prophetic gift which was in operation in biblical times is still in operation in our day. The answer to this question is found in the book of the prophet Joel. The Lord prophesied through the prophet Joel the following:
2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."
1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1:7 SO THAT YE COME BEHIND IN NO GIFT; WAITING FOR THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST:
1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
24:25 Behold, I have told you before."
i) "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (
ii) "20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (
From the passages above, the apostles John and Paul make it clear that in as much as we should not despise all prophesying in our time because some come from the Lord, we should also be careful to prove all things because many false prophets are gone out into the world. The apostle Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, provide the following details about the cunning work of false prophets in these last days:
11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
1) MESSAGES WILL BE IN HARMONY WITH SCRIPTUREKey Text: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (
Key Explanation: True prophets will not come up with their own private interpretations of Scripture (see
2) PROPHECIES WILL ALWAYS COME TO PASSKey Texts:
(i) "The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him" (
(ii) "21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him" (
Besides conditional prophecies whose outcome is dependent on the actions of the people concerned (see
13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."
3) WILL RECEIVE DIRECT MESSAGES FROM GOD IN UNUSUAL WAYSKey Texts:
12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
Key Explanation: True prophets will receive direct messages from God through visions, dreams and angelic visits. Sometimes, God may even speak to them face to face just like in the case of Moses (review
18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire (idolater), or that useth divination (fortune teller), or an observer of times (astrologer), or an enchanter (magician), or a witch (female psychic).
18:11 Or a charmer (person who casts spells or charms), or a consulter with familiar spirits (spirit medium), or a wizard (male psychic), or a necromancer (person who claims to consult with the dead).
18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
4) WILL CONFESS THE DIVINE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRISTKey Text:
4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
4:3 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 it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
5) WILL BE HOLY MEN OF GOD WHO BEAR GOOD FRUITSKey Texts:
i) "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (
7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
6) WILL SEEK TO UPLIFT CHRIST INSTEAD OF SELFKey Text: "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me" (
Key Explanation: True prophets will seek to uplift Christ in all their work. Like the mighty prophet in the wilderness, their slogan will be: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (
7) WILL SEEK TO EDIFY, EXHORT AND COMFORT THE PEOPLE OF GODKey Text: i) "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (
Key Explanation: Unlike false prophets, true prophets will not make pronouncements that will bring disunity and enmity between families and the larger flock of God. Rather, they will seek to edify, exhort and comfort the people of God. Their prophecies and counsels will be directed at seeking the best for all of God's children. In their bid to deliver messages from God to His people, true prophets will always be careful to exercise godly wisdom, tact, and brotherly love (see
8) WILL DECLARE UNTO THE PEOPLE THEIR SINSKey Texts:
3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, TO DECLARE UNTO JACOB HIS TRANSGRESSION, AND TO ISRAEL HIS SIN."
24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you."
3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:"
Instead of preaching the undiluted Word of God, many prophets in our day have made a booming business of the gift of prophecy. Today, church members are made to book paid appointments with prophets before they are allowed to meet them. Many prophets in our day are also found selling holy water, anointing oil, and wrist bands of protection to their followers to enrich themselves. Ironically, the amazingly rich extravagant lifestyle of the prophets of our day stands in direct contrast to the humble Carpenter of Nazareth, who even didn't have a personal abode of His own (see
Clearly, it is in respect to the false prophets of our day that the prophet Isaiah wrote the following: "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach" (
Beloved, it is high time we began to measure the prophets of our day with the tests that the Lord has graciously given us in His Word before we have any encounters with them. Our very life may depend on this important work. You see, even though a lot of modern day false prophets are cunning enough to often quote Scripture, and make use of the name of Christ as a cover, it is impossible for them to pass all of the identifying texts of a true prophet. Together, the varying tests of a true prophet will prove to be a standard that the most cunning of the ravening wolves in sheep's clothing cannot meet. It is my prayer that even as we seek to employ these tests of a genuine prophet from the Bible, the Lord Himself will guide our steps away from the ministers of unrighteousness unto the genuine prophets who will lead us into the coming kingdom of Christ.
Exhortation: i) "Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper" (
ii) "20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (
In our next study, we will consider the topic: The Gift of Prophecy: Part 2. The Bible Study references for this study are
Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.
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