For years, I’ve been teaching people about God’s voice as He allows. Small groups have been where the most success has been to date. I’ve self-published two books and am working on the final book of The Voice: Series. Much of the teaching from those books will find their way into these weekly emails. It’s not mapped out. Hopefully, the spirit of God will lead this and we’ll just follow as best we can. The Lord recently spoke and said, “Showcase prophecy.” He hasn’t said anything else about that. As my third book is about the gift of prophecy, we’ll start on that topic this week with an overview. First, full disclosure. I’m not an English major. As one well-known prophetic voice said about himself, “There are authors and there are people who write books. I write books.” I identify with that! Please forgive me with any mistakes in grammar/language you find. My book editor is not working for me in these emails!
|Prophecy - the Gift|
This email was intended to teach about hearing God’s voice. In light of the words, “Showcase Prophecy,” the scope of the email will be extended into the prophetic gifts. It’s possible the words were meant for my book’s facebook page. For the time being, I’ll work prophecy in here as I can, until the Lord explains more. Today that means wandering into the gift of prophecy as explained in 1st Corinthians.
When we think of God’s voice, we tend to think of personal interaction with God, for good reason. God can speak to anyone. He never stopped speaking. The book of Revelation tells us seven times to hear what the spirit is saying to the seven churches (See Rev 2:7). Nowhere does the Bible say God stopped speaking. What it does say is that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He never stopped speaking and the gifts never stopped because God never changes. The way He operated before is the same way He operates today. Exceptions are in cases where the Bible makes it clear there was a change ( like the ceremonial laws). Again, God can speak to anyone.
Taking that idea into the book of First Corinthians, we come to the gift chapters. Paul is writing to that entire church and tells all of them:
1st Corinthians 12:1 ESV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
So we learn Paul wants them to know spiritually significant things. (Verse 2 is interesting and may suggest a different type of spirit was leading lost people…)
We also learn that a manifestation of the Spirit of God is available to everyone for everyone’s benefit.
1st Corinthians 12:7 ESV To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
That’s amazing. Everyone including you is given a manifestation of God’s spirit. How does that work? The short, short version of that goes like this: In John 14:15-16, Jesus tells the disciples that if they are obedient, he will send them another helper (aka Holy Spirit). Jesus would later tell them to tarry in Jerusalem. Holy Spirit came upon those that obeyed in Acts 2. Because of their devotion/obedience they were blessed and we can be too. To shorten this email, I’m skipping what’s known as the baptism of the Spirit. You can explore that on your own. A question to think about is, “What would have happened if they had not obeyed?”
I teach that God can speak to anyone. Biblically, anyone could prophesy (see below) and there are examples in both testaments. The problem with that is prophecy is a spiritual gift from Holy Spirit. You want to be prophesying according to Holy Spirit (and not by Baal - somewhere:Old testament).
Immediately below verse seven is a list of gifts. Spiritual gifts.
1Co 12:8-11ESV For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (Emphasis on prophecy by me)
Note that the gift of administration is not in there. The gift of hospitality is not in there. There are skills that people possess that have been given by God, but those gifts are in a different gift chapter(Romans 12 – note – prophecy is found in Romans 12 and there’s more to the gift chapters than can be condensed into an email today). The gifts in the verses above are from Holy Spirit. One of them is the gift of prophecy. Moving forward, let’s look at what Paul says about that.
1st Corinthians 14:1-4 ESV Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him,but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.
According to those verses, we’re all suppose to love (See chapter 13), AND we’re supposed to desire to prophesy. That one gift is exalted above the others. The thing that gets me is the intent of the gift. According to Paul, prophecy (New Testament Style) is meant to encourage and comfort others(verse 3). There’s way more to this and there’s no way to explain it all today (This email is probably too long already). I just want to point out that God tells us through Paul to desire to prophesy. According to the Bible, this is an inspired scripture. God wants you to prophesy encouragement and comfort. The thing with that is that believers should already be doing that. Even an atheist can encourage someone. The difference here is being tuned into the voice of the Spirit of God and encouraging someone as you receive a leading from God. Or a prompting. Or hear a voice.
The voice of God can be used for personal reasons. You should learn God’s voice for yourself. But there’s a higher calling. And it has nothing to do with you. You can learn God’s voice to prophesy encouragement into someone else’s life. In a day and age where the world is getting darker and darker, we need the church to step up and desire to prophesy. Other believers need you to speak into their lives and God wants that too.
Speaking for God is challenging. And maybe a little frightening if you’ve never done it. God still tells us to desire it. The Spirit of God wants to give out that gift. God is not going to tell you to do something you can’t do. That would be unjust of God. He wants to help you do it. And you can. Start with desiring to prophesy. We’ll talk more about this later!