What is the gift of prophecy?

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The gifts of the Spirit

The gift of prophecy is one of the gifts of the Spirit. Paul wrote, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all… to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). And he added, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).

The gift of prophecy

This gift is the power to speak with authority for God, or on His behalf, either by predicting future events or by stating His will for the present (Exodus 3:10, 14, 15; 2 Samuel 23:2; Matthew 11:9, 10; 2 Peter 1:21). Prophecy is the way God chooses for dialogue between Himself and man. The Lord said, “Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6). Samuel the prophet declared, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2 also Matthew 3:3; 2 Peter 1:21). And Amos declared, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophet” (Amos 3:7).

Prophets are teachers of the will of God that had been made known to them by supernatural ways. Visions, dreams, special divine messages are ways in which this gift of prophecy manifests itself (Numbers 12:6; Revelation 1:1–3). The idea of foretelling is not vital to the meaning of the word, nor is the predictive element found in all prophetic messages (Acts 15:32; 1 Corinthians 14:3).

The whole Bible has come to men through this gift. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). “… no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20, 21). The Scriptures testify of Jesus, and the gift of prophecy is rightly called the “testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10; John 5:39; Revelation 12:17).

The end time Church and the gift of prophecy

God ordained that this essential gift of the Spirit should be with His church till He comes again in glory (Joel 2:28, 29; Revelation 12:17; 19:10). John the Revelator, wrote that the end time church will be characterized by the gift of prophecy: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). And he explained: “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). The end-time church will be marked by the gift of prophecy which will safeguard it against the great delusions of the Antichrist.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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