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Father, we thank You for the gifts and anointings You have given us. Help us to better understand those gifts, God, so that we may better serve you and better understand Your character.

Many Christians today are ignoring, using, or even abusing spiritual gifts due to a lack of understanding. How exactly does prophecy work?

From Give Him 15. Though Christ’s prophetic gift and anointing have been restored to the church for a few decades now, sadly, there is still much misunderstanding of the principles and guidelines associated with them. This is true even in charismatic circles. Because prophecy can be misused and misunderstood, many leaders would rather avoid the gift altogether, rather than study and teach about it. This creates ignorance and confusion, as well as the loss of this important anointing. It defrauds the body of Christ.

Pray for your fellow intercessor.

 

Being one of the five gifts/anointings of Christ to the church (Ephesians 4:11-12), and prioritized highly in both 1 Corinthians 12:28 and the Ephesians verses, this clearly reveals the prophetic gift as something we should strive to understand. Many leaders, however, would rather leave controversial subjects alone. Again, this hurts the body of Christ. The prophetic gift need not be controversial when properly understood.

One of the most harmful misconceptions regarding the prophetic is the belief that if a word doesn’t come to pass, it is a false prophecy. In other words, some people believe that if prophetic words, dreams, and visions are truly from God, they are guaranteed to come to pass. Actually, however, most prophecy is no more guaranteed than are promises in Scripture. Biblical promises are always conditional offers. Just because Jesus did not qualify every promise He made, did not mean there were no qualifying conditions. He said, “Ask and you will receive,” (Matthew 7:7). Yet millions of people have asked Him for things and did NOT receive them. Was Jesus lying? Of course not. He simply did not qualify this and other promises because it was to be assumed that all of His promises were conditioned/governed by all of Scripture. For example, if you have unforgiveness in your heart, your prayers won’t be answered. It would be foolish to think that every promise or offer made by God must be accompanied by all of its qualifying principles.

Personal prophecy, dreams, and visions are likewise conditional. Usually, they are informing us of what God is “offering” or “desires” to do. He shares this with us in order that we might cooperate with Him through prayers, faith, and obedience. God works with and through us, not independently of us. When someone gives me a prophecy I believe is from God, I immediately begin seeking Holy Spirit and His word to understand what I must do in order to receive the fulfillment of the word or promise. And I begin releasing my faith in order to lay hold of it (see 1 Timothy 6:12).

In the above verse, 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul told Timothy to “lay hold of” his “eternal life” through faith. Timothy already had God’s zoe life in him, but was not receiving the full benefits of it. It was in him, yet not being worked out from his spirit. The words “lay hold of” actually mean “to seize” (epilambano). “Grab it! Seize it by faith,” Paul was telling Timothy. God’s promises don’t just automatically fall in our lap simply because He spoke them. They must be laid hold of, possessed by faith and obedience. Personal prophecy, dreams, and words spoken to our hearts by Holy Spirit are no different. Passivity will always go unrewarded. This principle is NOT to be equated with “earning” God’s blessing. Just like our free gift of salvation, his blessings are procured by faith.

The faith and action requirement of God’s promises can be seen in a passage of Scripture concerning Elijah (1 Kings 18:1). God told Elijah it was now time for a judgment upon Israel – which had manifested in the form of drought – to end. Yet, for this to occur, Israel had to repent (I Kings 18:39-40). Elijah then prophesied that the rain was coming but still had to travail in prayer for it to occur (1 Kings 18: 41-46; James 5:16-18)! The verses in James tell us it was also Elijah’s intercession that stopped the rain 3 years earlier, even though the drought was obviously God’s will (James 5:17). Amazing.

Daniel realized through reading a decades-long prophecy by Jeremiah that it was time for a 70-year period of judgment in Israel to end (Daniel 9:1-2). Yet, he still went into an intense period of repentance for the nation’s sins, prayed fervently, and fasted for the fulfillment of this prophecy (Daniel 9:3-19). God answered his prayers and restored Israel, though the demonic “prince” of Persia tried desperately to stop the restoration. God’s will, God’s timing, God’s promise, a true prophecy – yet He still worked this will through a person!

In Exodus, a promise from God can be seen going unfulfilled. Moses was told, “But now go, lead the people [to the place] where I have told you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you”… (Exodus 32:34 Amplified Version). The beginning of the next chapter makes clear that this “place” was the promised land: ”The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought from the land of Egypt, to the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel), saying, ‘To your descendants, I will give it.’ I will send an Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Go up to a land [of abundance] flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus.33:1-3)

God did not list conditions; He simply said MOSES would lead THESE people into the promised land. Yet Moses did NOT lead anyone into the promised land, nor did these people enter the land! The people’s unbelief, fear, and rebellion negated their promise (Numbers 14); and Moses’ disobedience negated his promise (Numbers 20: 8-13). Yet, by the standards with which many prophets and prophecies are judged today, this would be a false prophecy.

Stating that prophecy is conditional is not offering an “out” for the person releasing the word. It is simply stating the biblical principle that all promises from God are conditional. To be sure, those releasing prophetic words, dreams, or visions should be careful how they deliver the word. Though it would be an unrealistic expectation for them to list conditions, they should also be extremely cautious about guaranteeing an outcome.

Let us not abandon God’s gifts because of extremes, or due to our ignorance. Nor let us make the mistake of hearing the word of the Lord and neglecting our part in seeing it fulfilled. Let’s be like the sons of Issachar, “discerning the times and seasons,” so that we can “know what to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). Let us be a people who “lay hold of” God’s promises “through faith and patience” (1 Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 6:12). NEVER be afraid of Christ’s gifts to the church – none of them.

Pray with me:

Father, we are on a growth journey of learning and understanding You and Your ways. We find it exciting – though in our humanness, at times, it is also a bit intimidating – to know that You work Your wonders through us. Yet, You have given us Your Word to instruct us, and the Holy Spirit to teach us. Therefore, we refuse to allow the intimidation to rob us of our inheritance in Christ.

Teach us Your ways. Mature us in our sensitivity to Your voice, take us to higher levels of accuracy regarding Your prophetic gifts. We can know Your voice, we do have the mind of Christ, and Holy Spirit is the Spirit of revelation. Most of all, we can study Your Word to know Your ways and will.

We pray for those who have stumbled due to misunderstanding the prophetic, or due to error or lack of wisdom in someone’s delivery of it. Comfort and encourage them. Remove fear of the prophetic from them. Cause those who operate in the prophetic to go to higher and higher levels of accuracy. And remove the critical spirit existing in some toward this wonderful anointing and gift of Christ to the church. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Our decree:

We declare that we have ears to hear what Holy Spirit says to the church, we will judge all that we hear by Scripture and biblical principles, and this will cause us to prosper and succeed.

Have you prophesied or seen someone else prophesy before? Share your testimonies below!

(Used with permission. From Give Him 15. Photo Credit: Canva)

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Sharon
September 22, 2022

It is important here to understand the gift of prophecy from the office of the prophet. According to the Greek Hebrew study Bible there are 3 definitions that can bring clarity. scripture clearly teaches the office of the prophet ceased with the death of Jesus. For He spoke to us once for all through Him who died for us. God clearly speaks in the OT that if someone declares thus says the Lord and it doesn’t come to pass that person did not hear from the Lord and they are a false prophet. The pattern of the OT prophets declared repent or be judged. We don’t hear modern day voices saying that. In NT the definition is Propheteia (4394) “A prophecy is something that any believer may exercise as telling forth Gods word, this however does not make him a prophet.” That word must come from scripture. May we be as the Bereans and search scripture daily for truth. In it lies the answers to all our questions. Its highly recommended the Greek Hebrew study Bible is in the hands of all believers.

Mary K
September 22, 2022

Why do you refute the word of Gd in Deut 13 and 18…Jer 14 and 23 -other places
If these ‘prophets’ were put to death for speaking for the Lord what did not come to pass- then wouldn’t that have been unlawful?
Gd revealed those that said something specific in His name that didn’t come to pass were false prophets…
How else are they qualified then…?
Maybe you should define the terms of a prophet-
Or what qualifies as ‘prophesy’-
Because either Gd is misleading or you are by your arbitrary definition-

In OT 2 Chronicals 18 and 1 Kings 22 -Gd specifically sent a lying spirit in mouth of prophet to test Ahab
to reveal his heart-
To expose his motives -to give him opp to repent-so Gd could show mercy-

Oh how we need Gd to expose our hearts-May we cry as David did -‘create a clean heart in me Lord -renew a right spirit within me’ ps 51:10
Not because Christ didn’t do enough but because of the chaos in this world and how we need the definitive word of Gd to navigate through our time-

The disciples were told-he that dips the sop with me the same is he who will betray me
-by your account -They all dipped-what was the specific marker for Judas -it was detailed and specific AND it came to pass-
Also Peter -though all deny you I will not-oh you will Peter -when the rooster crows…etc
I’m concerned you lump the arbitrary with the specific and cause people to doubt Gds specific commands and blur the lines for our day-
Plenty of false prophets have set dates for Christs return and things ‘Gd said’
When they go unfulfilled the person is either unchecked or worse-excused or exempt from their OT counterparts somehow who were required by Gds decree to be killed -specifically for – following other gods and misleading Gds people-causing His people to distrust Him –
I think you are doing the same by using scripture to negate Gds specific qualifying words concerning ‘prophesy’
and how to discern the false from the true in these last days-
Many will come in my name …their goal?…to deceive many-
Jesus warns of deception in Matthew 24 as the earmark of the latter days before His coming-
Should we be recusing people in these times-or holding them (and ourselves) to Gds standard to prove what is true-
May Gd give us discernment –
Mary K

3
    Mary K
    September 22, 2022

    PS
    You seemed in one area to equate Gds promises with prophesy
    Those are two very different things
    You can’t mush the terms together and still give them the same conditionals
    Gds promises are not same as prophesy
    The parameters are different for both or Gd wouldn’t have made them different criteria -they are not synonymous
    Mary K

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