I am reminded – far too often – that my blogs are long. Although, it grieves me, I reduced ten pages down to two. What I am doing is answering a question in my mind and hopefully yours, about the reality and validity of the prophetic.
The short answer is yes, and you will never convince me otherwise. Prophets are given to the church body – according to the measure of Christ – to build it up.
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” (Ephesians 4:7-14 NASB)
We cannot and should not argue with truth. The book of Revelation is not written to the Old Testament Jews, but to the New Testament church. In it we find this word:
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10 KJV)
Paul attests to the validity of prophets in his first letter to the church at Corinth by telling us that God has placed them in the body.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28 KJV)
We also find the prophets affirmed in 1Corinthians 14.
If anyone considers himself a prophet or gifted with the Spirit, let him understand that what I write to you is a command of the Lord. Anyone who disregards this will be himself disregarded. To sum up, my brothers. Set your heart on the prophetic gift, and do not put any check upon speaking in ‘tongues’; but let everything be done decorously and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:37-40 Moffatt NT)
1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:3 MKJV (3) But he who prophesies speaks to men for building up, and exhortation, and comfort.
Take the time to read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. I will only point out that it is making clear that the prophet is a legitimate spiritual gift, and along with the others, is speaking by the Holy Spirit.
“but it is the same God working all things in all”; “For through the Spirit is given..”to another prophecy”
The Holy Spirit testifies that Philip’s own daughters were prophets.
“..and started next morning for Caesarea, where we entered the house of Philip the evangelist (he belonged to the Seven, and had four unmarried daughters who prophesied). We stayed with him.” (Acts 21:8-9 Moffatt NT)
Also within the frame-work of the New Testament we have Agabus. Led by the Holy Spirit to Paul, he testified that hard times would come for Paul.
While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.‘” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:10-13 ESV)
The Holy Spirit affirmed the prophetic in the New Testament church as Peter addressed the crowds of Jewish worshipers on the day of Pentecost, quoting a portion of Joel chapter 2. I will leave it up to you to look up the original and its context.
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; (Acts 2:14-17 ESV)
Not only is it a valid and active gift, but God gives the prophetic a place of prominence.
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV)
We are told to desire the higher gifts and prophecy is one of them.
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:28-31 ESV)
The gifts, including the prophetic, are given for the edification of the body.
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:10-14 ESV)
Just to clarify a point here. Prophecy, does not necessarily equate to being a prophet. The book of Revelation tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Since the testimony of Jesus and his word is one in the same, then speaking his word – in his authority – would constitute the deliverance of a prophetic word.
Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
(Revelation 19:10 ESV)
Call them what you want, cynics, pharisees, or grouches who just like to fight, I do not really care. I just know that it grieves my spirit to hear them come against God so adamantly. They will answer for their choices, but in the mean time we need to become more educated. You will only do that by spending time in His word.
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