Understanding the Gift of Prophecy

By | March 15, 2015

The gift of prophecy is one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit.  It is the preaching or declaring the Word of God by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  It is a spiritual declaration of God’s heart and purpose, for that specific time; given through a human vessel. 

It is one of the inspirational gifts, along with tongues, and interpretation of tongues.  They are for the uplifting of the church and their purpose is edification, exhortation and comfort.  Paul felt it is the most important I Corinthians 11-14.

What Prophecy is and is not

The gift of prophecy is not telling the future or foretelling.   New Testament gift of prophecy is limited to edification, exhortation, and comfort. Prophecy can be given by any spirit filled believer, while the Office of the Prophet, is one of the five-fold ministry and holds and office.  According to Ephesians 4: 8– 12.

The gift of prophecy is not preaching in the sense of declaring a Biblical message.  Prophecy comes from the mind of the Holy Spirit, through supernatural utterance.   The gift of prophecy is usually given to the  person, who will hear the voice of God, and is willing to deliver it to a person, group or congregation for that immediate time.  The gift of prophecy is not used to rebuke or chastise, the body of Christ, but to encourage it.

1Corinthians 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

The Prophetic Word has Purpose

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Photo by Lars Hammer via Flickr

The gift of prophecy is never to be given for show, but for a specific purpose ordained the Lord.   It can take place during a time of praise and worship.  I have seen many times as this high  worship has ushered in the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit, followed by the gift of prophecy being released.  This prophetic word is usually given to minister to several people in the congregation.  Prophecy can lift up a person going through depression, or remind someone that God will never leave or forsake him.

God will move where the spirit of God is welcome.  If you are in a congregation that does not honor the Holy Spirit or believe in the gifts of the Spirit, ask the Lord to lead you to a congregation where the spirit of God can be fully expressed.   The Spirit of God flows freely when his presence is welcome.  There are many churches that were once on fire but have lost their former glory because the Holy Ghost was quenched or hindered.   God’s anointing will lift off a ministry that has consistently hindered his workings.

The Gift of Prophecy – Being Under Authority

Those operating in the prophecy should be under authority. We are subject to God, but we should all be subject to one another and to some authority over us.  It is very easy to go astray without the input of other spiritual men and women. 

You always know that someone is in trouble if they say, “I don’t have to listen to anyone but God.”  Those that reject correction can become deceived and begin to walk in a familiar spirit.  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety.  Proverbs 11:14 KJV

The enemy loves the lone wolves because they will not be brought under subjection. They are the ones who cause confusion in the Body of Christ, and lead weak, or immature believers astray.  Just like Jesus was accountable to the Father, we have to be accountable to spiritual leadership.

 God Wants to Use you

God  will never force you to submit  to a prophetic word.  You have been given free will and you can decide to obey or grieve the Holy Spirit at any time.  I Corinthians 14:32 KJV And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
If you are new to this gift, it can be a little scary when you have to stand up in front of other and speak.

The Holy Spirit will rest on you for a time.  Sometimes the weight of the glory is so heavy you don’t know what to do.   If you do not step out and speak, He will give it to someone else.  The next person will give the word and you will see that it was the same word the Lord was giving you.  Don’t beat yourself up, there will always be another opportunity!

Continue to make yourself spiritually prepared, by prayer and study of the scripture.  The more in tuned you are with the Lord, the easier it will be to hear and obey God.