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DIVINE ENCOUNTER

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P. O. BOX 3625 WARRI,

DELTA STATE, NIGERIA.

 

TOPIC:           FOUR BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH EDIFICATION 

TEXT:           1Cor 14: 1 – 6.                                                                  Part 6

 

WHAT IS PROPHECY AND WHO IS A PROPHET?

“Now Brethren, if I come to you speaking in (unknown) tongues, how shall I make it to your advantage unless I speak to you either in revelations – disclosure of God’s will to man – in knowledge or in PROPHESY… ” (1Cor 14: 6 AMP) 

“Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the (Holy) Spirit; Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the Prophets – do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning” 1Thes 5: 19 – 20 AMP.  

“Do not scoff at those who PROPHESY” TLB.

 

Definition: PROPHESYING (1Cor 14: 6) PROPHETEIA –means Prophecy, Prediction (scriptural or other) prophecy, prophesying.

Prophecy (Acts 21: 9) PROPHETEUO – means to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office.

 

From the Amplified translation, we can see that prophesying can contain prophetic revelations, inspired instruction, exhortation or warning. These facts should be carefully noted. I also want you to note the difference between the words “prophesying” and “Prophecy” as indicated above.  See how the spirit puts it in Rev 19: 10b: “…For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy – the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching  and interpretation of the divine will and purpose ( including both mine and yours) AMP . “The purpose of all prophecy and of all I have shown you is to tell about Jesus” TLB. Now, this is very important as a key that we need to hold unto in building the body of Christ: It is that whether we preach, teach or prophesy, it is meant not only to point to Jesus and His intended will for the people receiving the prophecy, but also to point people to Jesus Himself. This is why the angelic servant-spirit who revealed the book of Revelations, which actually is the disclosure of Jesus the Christ and his activities especially to the seven Churches in Asia, refused to be worshipped when John attempted to bow down before Him. In his words “…Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said , you must not do that; I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus, worship God…”Rev 19: 10) RSV. “He holds the testimony” means he also do believe in both what is spoken and written about Jesus, what Jesus said about Himself and His words to His church and he is a declarer of same which is the spirit of Prophesy. May be those who demand worship from their fellow brothers because of the gift they carry and operate may need to think twice about the implication of what they are doing, as they are taking the place of Jesus in the life of the people and that will never produce edification, because you become the one you worship just like the heathens are like their idols (Ps 115: 4 – 8). But when through our ministry, we point Jesus to people for them to worship, then they grow to become like him in “measure and stature” (Eph 4: 13) and as they move from Glory to Glory into His image and likeness (2Cor 3:18). But while it is true that we do not worship men, there is a place for honoring those the Lord has honoured as men of God, for “no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Heb 5: 1 – 4). In honouring them, we honour the Christ that is at work in them as vessels, which can even be done in substances: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (1Tim 5:17). But one thing is certain, we seek not neither receive honour from men even as Jesus never did (Jn 5: 41, 44) but the Father whom He ever seeks to honour, has decreed that all men should honour Him ( Jn 5: 23). So the secret to true honour is to seek the Father, and in glorifying Him, you shall be honoured.

 

DOES THE OPERATION OF THE GIFT OF PROPHECY MAKE ONE A PROPHET?

In 1Cor 12: 29, the word says “Are all apostles? Are ALL PROPHETS?” Certainly the answer will be No.  In 1Cor 14: 5, Paul wished that all believers should prophesy. But that does not mean that all believers must fulfill the Prophetic office of Eph 4: 11. When Paul laid hands on the brethren in Ephesus, to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost instead of the Baptism of John, we are told when the Holy Ghost came upon them “…they spake with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19: 1 – 6 ). That is not to say Paul made or commissioned all of them to become prophets. Even in Acts 21: 8 – 9, we read of “Philip the Evangelist who had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy”. They were not prophets but thy prophesied in fulfillment of the scripture that says “… Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2: 7) when the Holy Ghost comes upon all flesh. But in Verse 10 of Acts 21, we read of one that “… came down from Judea, a certain prophet named Agabus”. So we can see that there is the gift of prophesy and the office of the Prophet.

 

WHO WAS A SEER AND WHAT WAS THEIR PRIMARY DUTY TO THE CHURCH?  

In 1 Sam 9, we have the story of Saul the Son of Kish and his servant who went to see Samuel because of his Father’s lost Ass. In Verse 9 we read: “Before in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, come and let us go to the seer; for he that is now called a Prophet was before time called a seer”. The word seer itself is râaw which means to see, lit or fig (in numerous applications, direct and implied, - advise self, appear, approve, behold. And implied - advise self, appear, approve, behold. And the word Prophet (nâbiy) means a prophet or inspired man; Just like in the Greek (Prophêtes) means a foreteller (“prophet”) by anal, an inspired speaker. (Please compare 2 Sam 12: 1 – 7, Amos 3: 6 – 7, and Eph 3: 1 – 5). The prophets were not only revealing the mind of God, they also showed the people the solution to their heart desires as directed by God. They are called prophets today also just as Agabus was to the early church (Acts 21: 10), they deal with the past, the present and the future in revealing the mind of God. Moses was a prophet, so could write of the past – creation account, gave Laws to Israel and spoke of a coming messiah and Israel’s rest in Canaan. Certainly a “Prophet” is a seeing one (Acts 11: 28, Jn 4:19) but that is not limited essentially to seeing people’s problems only, for what did the scriptures say about Jesus when he raised a dead man (Lk 7: 12 – 16)? “They glorified God, saying, that A GREAT PROPHET IS RISEN UP among us…”  Again we read in Eph 3: 1– 5 “… in olden times God did not share this PLAN (Mystery of the body of Christ that includes the Gentiles) with His people, but now He had revealed it by the Holy Spirit to His Apostles, and Prophets” TLB. Therefore we can see that the word applies to those who perform the miraculous and those who have insight into the plans of God for the ages. For we know that Jesus wasn’t just telling people by way of visions what their problems were and maybe who was responsible but in any case that is also a level which I will call the realm of “VISIONERS” (“Your young men shall see visions” (?) Acts 2: 17) which to me is a combination of the word of Knowledge and the discerning of Spirit as a product of the giftings in the life of a man. 

 

WHAT WAS THE “SURE WORD OF PROPHECY” THAT PETER HEARD: - 2 Peter 1: 16 – 20?

In math 17: 1 – 5, we read of the experiences that the Apostles had at the time of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ wherein a voice came to them saying “this is my beloved son hear ye Him”. This is what Peter referred to while recounting this experience before his death as a “sure word of Prophecy”. So what was it? It was that “Christ is the son of God” to whom only they must hearken; no longer to Moses (realm of law) or Elijah (realm of the prophets) for they only pointed to the Son.

 

WHAT IS THE PROPHECY EXPECTED TO DO TO THOSE WHO HEARKEN TO IT? 

“…We have also a more sure word of Prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed; as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the Day dawn, and the Daystar arise in your hearts” (2 Pet 1: 20). It means that following diligently the prophetic word will lead to revelation and manifestation of the Christ, the Son of God, in our hearts.  By implication, a strong prophetic utterance will lead to the implanting and manifestation of our sonship. Even as Paul would say to Timothy: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by the presbytery (elders) 1 Tim 4: 14.  

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED                                                         OGAGA O. DAVID