Understanding the Prophetic
Some people feel uncomfortable with the demonstration of some of God’s supernatural gifts expressed through His Church members. The owner/editor of this website used to be one of them. The following Scriptural passages helped me overcome the discomfort. May they be helpful to others as well:
· Amos 3:7 states "Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until He reveals His plans to His servants the prophets."
· Romans 12:4-8: For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function… Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; if service, let us serve…”
· 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, the Holy Spirit through apostle Paul graciously informs us: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware…Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit…To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…To one, the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the discerning of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues…Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in tongues. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? ...Of course not! So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts..."
· 1 Corinthians 14:1-32: “Let love be your highest goal, but also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives, especially the gift of prophecy. …One who prophesies is helping others grow in the Lord, encouraging and comforting them…I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues, but even more I wish you were all able to prophesy. For prophecy is a greater and more useful gift than speaking in tongues…In summary…Let two or three prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can wait their turn. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches.”
· 1 Timothy 4:14: "Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you."
· Ephesians 2:19-20: “You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
· 1 Corinthians 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
· Hebrews 2:3-4: “What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard Him speak, and God verified the message by signs and wonders and various miracles and by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever He chose to do so.”
· 1 Corinthians 1:4-9: “…In Christ Jesus you have been enriched in every way … because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”
· 1 John 4:1-3: "Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”
Sadly, some have been taught that the spiritual gift of prophecy has somehow expired prior today, quoting 1 Corinthians 13:8 stated here:
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
Please notice in that verse Paul prophecies that along with the spiritual gifts of prophecies and tongues, “knowledge shall vanish away.” Obviously knowledge has not yet vanished away. Therefore prophecies and tongues have not yet ceased either; all new covenant spiritual gifts are still needed today … as our Bible warns that opposing, enemy activity will reach new heights in the future (Mark 13:22; 2 Thess. 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:1).
1 Corinthians 13:8 literally means that when the completeness of communication and knowledge comes in the next (heavenly) life, tongues will be no barrier and partial knowledge will be superseded by the perfect or complete (1 Cor. 13:9-10). People in eternity will be able to speak all the languages of all others in the universe, thus doing away with present-day language barriers. The partial knowledge will be superseded by perfect knowledge. It is only that which is in part that will be done away or come to an end (1 Cor. 13:9-10).
In 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 Paul further makes clear his meaning, when he compares the next life to something as far advanced over this present life as adulthood over childhood; and when he declares that we now see darkly into the future, knowing only a few things, whereas then, face to face with God, we shall know other persons and things as now known by God.
And beloved, not only does the mistaken interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:8 contradict the above, it directly contradicts 1 Corinthians 1:4-9: “…In Christ Jesus you have been enriched in every way … because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”