The Gift Of Prophecy Operating Through You!
By Rodney W. Francis
One of the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit is The Gift of Prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10 ). It is a gift that we are all exhorted to desire and to function in:
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1 ).
The word “prophesy” is from the Greek word “propheteuo” and means “to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office” (Strong’s); “to hold the office of a prophet; to do the work of a prophet, i.e. to speak forth, in declaration, warning or exhortation, as directed by the Spirit of God” (Bullinger’s).
The word “prophecy” means “1. a. a message of divine truth revealing God’s will. b. the act of uttering such a message. 3. the function, activity, or charismatic endowment of a prophet or prophets” (Collins Dictionary).
The Gift of Prophecy functions when a Holy Spirit-filled believer is “in tune” with the Spirit of God, perceiving and discerning what God wants spoken out in a particular place or time amongst a certain people. He has to use those who are available to His promptings . . . who are willing to step outside their “comfort zone” and allow the Lord to speak through them in a public manner with an audible voice. God has chosen this means to “communicate” His word and will amongst the people! Prophesying is speaking forth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sharing a love message (or letter) from the heart of Jesus Christ to the people. We become a delivery person speaking on behalf of God. Because it is Holy Spirit inspired, it is a message from God through us to the people. If we fail to stir up, and step into, the exercising of the Gift of Prophecy, then we are “robbing” others of the opportunity to hear God speaking to them in such a way that they will do something about their present condition of life-style.
Just in case any Christian is in doubt at all whether or not they can prophesy, the Scripture makes it very clear: “For you can (or “may”) all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31 ).
It is God’s will for YOU to prophesy!!
Why should we desire to “especially prophesy” (keeping in mind that the desire has to be strong enough within to actually move from a desire to the practical application of the gift)? The Scriptures are clear:
“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” . . . “he who prophesies edifies the church” . . . “for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification” (1 Corinthians 14:3-5 ).
The prophetic voice of God is revealed through the Gift of Prophecy functioning. The gift is for the edification (“oikodome” = “to build up, the promotion of spiritual growth”), exhortation (“paraklesis” = “encouragement, a calling near or for, to stir up”) and comfort (“paramuthia” = “a consolation, a solace ministered with tenderness.” “Consolation” is “to alleviate grief or disappointment” and “solace” is “comfort in distress or disappointment, to find relief, cheer up”) of the church ~ and if the church ever needed building up, it is NOW! The prophetic voice is to be uttered with a simple yet clear understanding ~ clear and simple enough for the people to grasp what you are saying clearly. It is vital that we “catch” the prophetic words that come forth through the Gift of Prophecy. We neglect it to our own hurt and hindrance in the things of God.
Spiritual Gifts are always to be for the edification of the church: “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel (“1. to be superior to another, or others; surpass. 2. to be outstandingly good or proficient” – Collins. “Surpass” means “to be superior to in achievement or excellence; to overstep the limit or range of” – Collins)” (1 Corinthians 14:12 ).
PROPHESYING THAT CONVICTS
Let us now consider an area of prophecy that we do not hear very much about today. It is the impact of prophecy upon those who hear it, and are not walking right with God: “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25 ).
The word “convinced” comes from the Greek word “elegcho” meaning “to convict” (Young’s); “to admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove (Strong’s).
The word “judged” or “convicted” is “anakrino” meaning “to judge strictly, afresh” (Young’s); “to scrutinize, investigate, interrogate, determine, discern, search” (Strong’s).
The word “secrets” is “kruptos” meaning “concealed, hidden, secret” (Young’s); “concealed, private, hidden, inwardly, secret” (Strong’s).
The word “manifest” or “revealed” is from “phaneros” meaning “manifest, apparent” (Young’s); “apparent, visible, conspicuous” (Bullinger’s).
The Bible is revealing to us that if we Christians will give ourselves to the Gift of Prophecy, then He can use us (by that gift operating) to speak to the hearts of people in the meetings/gatherings in such a way that they will get right with God, put wrongs right in their lives, etc., because they will be convicted by the spirit and the message flowing out of us prophetically! The Gift of Prophecy in operation is a sign that Jesus is in the midst of His people: “Worship God! For the testimony (“marturia” = “evidence given, record, report, testimony, witness” -Strong’s; “a bearing witness, certifying; a testimony that informs as well as corroborates; that which any one witnesses or states concerning any person or thing” -Bullinger’s) of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10 ).
Christians, when gathered together, should be there for OTHERS! For too long we have looked at church and meetings as being a place where we receive something from God. But New Testament Christianity is that of GIVING! We gather together looking for the opportunity to work together with the Holy Spirit in order that we may bless and encourage the people in a positive way!
“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm (“a touching twang, e.g. of a bowstring; of stringed instruments, a playing, music . . . a psalm or song in commemoration of mercies received, rather than of praise to God” – Bullinger’s), has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation (“unveiling, uncovering; of facts and truths, disclosure, revelation; of persons, appearing, manifestation” – Bullinger’s), has an interpretation(“explanation” – Young’s). Let all things be done for edification” (1 Corinthians 14:26 ). It is all about giving out one to the other with the view that people will be edified.
When the people are contributing as a result of their being ”connected” and “in touch” with the Holy Spirit, there will always flow a positive message of benefit from the heart of God to those listening. For me, personally, I am living today in the fulfillment of many prophetic words spoken over my life ~ most of which came in the course of a meeting, and quite unplanned or organized. When the Holy Spirit has His way, He will always speak to the people and glorify Jesus Christ in every way!
Be encouraged to open your heart and life to God today. Make yourself available for the Holy Spirit to speak to you, that you can prophesy His message out to the people when you are amongst them. As long as you keep within the guide-lines of “edification, exhortation, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3 ) ~ and are motivated by love for the people ~ you will never do any harm or damage amongst the people. God is waiting to speak through YOU!