Bible Studies

8 Great Things To Know About The Prophetic

shrine-1031662_640Today there is a lot of talk about “the prophetic” but where do we actually find a definition of what the prophetic actually is.  I turn to my Bible for answers when I have a question about anything.  These are the answers I found regarding what the prophetic is actually about from the perspective of the New Testament church.

  • The first thing to know is that every Christian is potentially a prophet. The pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh carries with it this result, “and they shall prophesy”
    • Acts 2:18 says, “In those days I will give my Spirit to my servants, both men and women, and they will prophesy.”
  • There are, in the New Testament Church, also a special group known as “prophets” set apart for the ministry of prophecy. They are mentioned next after apostles in the lists of ministries.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28-29 says, “First, God chose some people to be apostles and prophets and teachers for the church. But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick or help others or be leaders or speak different kinds of languages.”
  • Ephesians 4:11 says, “Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong.”
  • Prophets do one of two things
    • They make a proclamation
    • They make a prediction, making use of this power of foresight to issue spiritual guidance to the church
    • 1 Corinthians 14:30-31 says, “If someone sitting there receives a message from God, the speaker must stop and let the other person speak. Let only one person speak at a time, then all of you will learn something and be encouraged.”
  • In their capacity as preachers to the church, their work is described as exhortation, edification and consolation.
    • Acts 15:32 says, “Judas and Silas were prophets, and they spoke a long time, encouraging and helping the Lord’s followers”
    • 1 Corinthians 14:3 says, “But when you prophesy, you will be understood, and others will be helped. They will be encouraged and made to feel better.
  • The reaction of the non-Christian to the ministry of the prophets shows that they were preachers of the whole message of sin and salvation, wrath and grace.
    • 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 says, “But suppose all of you are prophesying when those unbelievers and outsiders come in.  They will realize that they are sinners, and they will want to change their ways because of what you are saying.  They will tell what is hidden in their hearts.  They will kneel down and say to God, ‘We are certain that you are with these people’.”
  • In the context of the church meeting, the ministry of the prophet is spoken of as revelation. It is some perception of the truth of God intelligibly made to the assembly.
    • 1 Corinthians 14:26f, says, “you must do everything for the good of everyone there.  That’s how it should be when …. someone explains what an unknown language means” (paraphrased)
  • The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
    • 1 Corinthians 30 & 32 says, “If someone sitting there receives a message from God, the speaker must stop and let the other person speak. A prophet should be willing to stop and let someone else speak.”
  • Two tests were applied to any prophetic utterance.
    • First, there was the test of the experience of other prophets present, that is, let them subject the utterance which is being made to their knowledge of God and His truth. “let other discern”
      • 1 Corinthians 14:29 says, “Two or three persons may prophesy, and everyone else must listen carefully”
    • Secondly, there is the overall test of the apostolic deposit. The test of the true prophet, or any man who lays claim to spirituality, is that he takes ‘knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord’ for apart from this there is nothing but ignorance (1 Corinthians 14:37-38)

One last thought about prophecy is stated in 1 Corinthians 13:2 where it says, “What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I WOULD BE NOTHING, UNLESS I LOVED OTHERS.”

We must keep love as our main focus no matter what our spiritual gift is since all the gifts are given to individuals for the building up of people and not the tearing down of them.  We get so focused on this issue and that issue and the other issue that we forget the person in front of us.  We forget to just love them as we would love ourselves.  John 11:36 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Who is our neighbor?  That a topic for another day.

That would be my call to action for you today.  To remember to treat the person in front of you the way you would want to be treated.  It is so simple, yet not always as easy to do.

As always,