The Gift of Prophecy
I. The Gift of Prophecy in Bible Times
A. A prophet is a forth-teller (Exodus
2. A prophet of God was God's spokesman. (Isaiah 48:16; Jeremiah 25:4-7; Numbers 16:28, and from Isaiah to Malachi)
Note: These men didn't merely tell the future, but were more concerned with foretelling God's message, which many times included past, present, and future.
3. Prophets received revelations by dreams, visions, or verbal communication from God. (Hebrews 1:1)
Note: What the Lord put in his prophets mouth, he spoke consciously, not in some trance, often using a graphic object lesson to emphasize the message.
B. A prophet instructed, warned, exhorted,
promised, and rebuked (II Timothy 4:2)
2. John the Baptist, called a prophet, admonished Herod that he should not have taken his brother's wife. (Matthew 14:3-12)
C. Prophets in the New Testament
Note: Most references to New Testament prophets do not stress or even mention a futuristic message.
2. The church at Antioch had "certain prophets and teachers" (Acts 13:1) Five names follow.
3. Judas and Silas are called prophets when they conveyed the decision of how to treat Gentile believers. (Acts 15:32)
4. Philip the evangelist, "had four daughters...which did prophesy." Acts 21:9
5. In Corinth, prophecy seemed to be the delivery of an inspired message to edify the church. (I Corinthians 14:3-4)
6. Paul commanded the Thessalonians, "Despise not prophesying." (I Thessalonians 5:20)
Note: Before New Testament writings were completed in the first century, special revelations and messages may have been given to people with the prophetic gift. (I Thessalonians 5:20)
II. The Gift of Prophecy in Our Day
Note: Is it possible for some to get a prophecy regarding current day events? (i.e. political results, stock market, weather, personal life goals, marriage, jobs, etc.)
A. God's revelation has been finished.
2. The bible is our all-sufficient guide today. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
B. Prophecy is now identified with proclamation
based on God's Word.
C. The gift of prophecy is not a new revelation,
but a clearer understanding of already-given truth.
1. The gift of prophecy makes God's Word relevant
to a particular situation in a current context. (2 Peter
2. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit
of prophecy." (Revelations 19:10)
D. Results of the prophetic gift will be
encouragement, edification and comfort (I Corinthians 14:3)
III. How Widespread is the Gift of Prophecy?
A. Prophecy ranks high among the gifts.
(Ephesians 4:11; I Corinthians 12:28)
2. Paul affirmed prophecy over the gift of tongues (I Corinthians 14:1-25)
Note: In making the Word of God intelligible, tongues did not help, but hinder.
3. Peter exercised the gift at Pentecost. (Acts 2:14-38)
4. Paul and his missionary team used the gift. (Titus 1:3)
B. The Early Church employed the gift of
prophecy from local congregations.
2. Women in the Early Church possessed the gift. (1 Corinthians 11:5; Acts 21:8-9)
C. There are many varieties of the gift
Note: Telling-forth (preaching) to adults, witnessing to children, to believers and unbelievers, small groups, or individuals, radio, TV, neighborhood Bible classes, etc.
All are exercising the same gift for the telling-forth of the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 14:1 "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."
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