Saturday, 6 May 2017

What is the Gift of Prophecy

The gift of "prophecy" is distinct from ordinary preaching, teaching, expounding the Scriptures, sharing doctrine, exhorting, testifying and bearing witness. It's something else!
If prophecy was the same as those, Paul would not have included prophecy along with other ways of speaking and distinguished between them (see Romans 12: 6-8). Prophecy is something distinct.
The definition of "prophecy" didn't change between the Old Testament and the New. During the Old Covenant all Israelites were to spend their days talking about the Law of the Lord, especially to their children; and the priests were to teach the Law - but that didn't mean all people and priests were prophesying. Prophesying was something different altogether.
Most of the time when someone prophesied, it was considered a phenomenon. Something that wasn't possible to do with one's own understanding alone. To speak with a special Divine unction. A special inspiration. Like only the anointing of the Spirit could enable.
The only thing that changes in the New Testament, is not the definition of prophecy - but who and how many people will be gifted to do it.
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Joel 2:17).
Prophesying still means being anointed by the Spirit of the Lord with a special unction to speak forth with Divine inspiration. It's something observably distinct from ordinary speaking.
Each of the nine manifestations of the Spirit listed in I Cor.12:7-10 are supernatural, not natural abilities.
Look at the potential results:
"...if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth (verses 24,25).
" may all prophesy one by one..." (I Cor.14:31).
You may earnestly desire it, covet it, be zealous for it, seek to excel in it, that you can come behind in no gift, Paul said.
Do you prophesy?

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