What is Prophecy?
Unlike any other, only God knows the future. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 46:9-10, NKJV. “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’”
Prophecy shows the reliability of the scriptures, which do not come from men but are sent by God. It's in the Bible, 2 Peter 1:19-21, ESV. “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Prophecy foretold of a Savior that would die to save us from sins. It’s in the Bible, Luke 24:46-47. NKJV. “He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'”
Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah, our Savior. It’s in the Bible, Luke 24:44, NKJV. "Then He said to them, 'These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.'”
Prophecy is a way for God to communicate to His people. It’s in the Bible, Hosea 12:10, NKJV. “I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.”
God has revealed His plans to the prophets. It’s in the Bible, Amos 3:7, NKJV. “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets”
God’s plans are always for our good. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, NIV. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Spirit to the church. It’s in the Bible, Romans 12:6-7, NKJV. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching"
Prophecy helps move the work of God. It's in the Bibie, Ezra 6:14, NKJV. "So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia."
The gift of prophecy is to build up the church and unify it. It’s in the Bible, Ephesians 4:11-13, NKJV. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;"
The Holy Spirit distributes individual gifts to members of the church. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 12:9-11, NKJV. “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."
Be sure to test prophets. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 4:1, NKJV. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
Prophets must speak according to the Bible. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 8:20, NKJV. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Prophets are not usually popular. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:11-12, NKJV. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Prophecy speaks what is right, not what is popular. It's in the Bible, Isaiah 30:10, NKJV. "Who say to the seers, 'Do not see,' And to the prophets, 'Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.'"
We are to test prophecies, not ignore them. It's in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, NKJV. "do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good."
Beware of prophets who do not keep the laws of God. It's in the Bible, Matthew 7:22-23, NKJV. "Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
We can expect prophets in the last days of earth’s history. It’s in the Bible, Joel 2:28, NKJV. “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions."
Prophecy has important information about the last days. It’s in the Bible, Revelation 1:3, NKJV. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Prophecy that does not enhance the understanding of God’s love is worthless. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:2, NKJV. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”