This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 6th 2022 by Navaz D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PART 7 - BLOG
In the last few weeks, we have been looking at the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are vital for us to thrive as Christ-followers and for the church to be a vibrant spirit-filled community.
The gifts are grace gifts and not rewards for good behaviour. You did nothing to earn it or deserve it. They are given freely as the Holy Spirit determines. They are given for the common good: to build up, encourage and comfort the people of God. They are also useful in our interactions with society – to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons.
They help us fulfil our mandate to go into all the world and make disciples, to fill the earth with the Glory of God, to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, set the prisoner free and release those in darkness. You cannot do this on your own. You need the anointing and enabling of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends….
1 Cor14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. 12 Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
Today we are going to look at 1 Revelatory gift: Prophecy. It is such a large one and in essence what you learn here about how a prophecy functions applies to some of the other vocal gifts as well.
God’s heart is to reveal Himself to us and to speak to us.
There is a difference between Old Testament and New Testament Prophets and Prophecy.
THE PROPHET and PROPHECY
The weight was on the prophet. If he was proved wrong, he could be stoned to death.
We need to weigh the prophecy.
It was one prophet that functioned at a time usually.
Today prophets function in teams. Now everyone can prophesy and the aim is to raise a prophetic people.
The prophecies of the prophets of the Bible were divinely inspired and we do not need to weigh them.
Today we prophesy in part and know in part. So, it needs to be weighed.
The prophets functioned independently
Function as part of a local church in submission to local leadership.
WHAT IS PROPHECY?
Prophecy is the ability granted supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to a believer to speak forth words that come from God, that do not come from your own wisdom and understanding. (Derek Prince)
Prophecy has been there right from the beginning of time to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Hannah, Joseph, etc.
It is Forth telling – call into being. Causes things to happen – Ezekiel and the dry bones. Fore telling – tells you what is to come
TWO RESPONSES WE MUST AVOID
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,
We are instructed to neither quench nor despise.
QUENCH: This imagery is linked to fire. You quench fire by pouring water on it. You cannot quench the Spirit himself but you can resist His working or grace upon your life.
DESPISE: To despise is not to give due honour or respect. To belittle or think less than. It could have been that things had gone wrong in the Thessalonian church. The hint lies in the next verse which says: Test everything. Hold on to what is good. Remember we said all prophecy must be weighed. In other words: eat the chicken throw the bones.
Also, some commentators add that the Thessalonians probably valued the power gifts more and did not care much for prophecy. We need to value all the gifts and allow them to flourish.
HOW TO BRING PROPHECY?
· Bring it with grace and love.
· Bring it under submission to the leadership.
· Humility – you could be wrong and be willing to be corrected
· Wait for the correct timing. Sometimes God speaks way ahead of time and you must pray over it, refine and craft the Word and bring it at the right time.
· You are the postman- your job is to deliver the
· Do not bring personal prophecies to people whom you know well. Your personal biases can affect the world.
· If you are new at this gift and you are bringing a word of knowledge or a personal prophecy you must have a leader with you.
· Be a student of Scripture.
HOW TO TEST PROPHECY?
· It must agree with the scripture
· Does it glorify Jesus?
· Is it building up the person, bringing strength and encouragement?
· Personal prophecy- Submit it to your leaders. Let it be established by 2 or 3 witnesses.
HOW TO RECEIVE PROPHECY
· Be open to God using another human like you that is loved by God and imperfect.
· Be gracious toward the person
· Does the person have a track record of accuracy?
· If it is a condemning word step out from under it and be released.
· If you are feeling manipulated in any way – please speak to your leaders
· If it is a word that witnesses with your Spirit, then you have a responsibility to obey it.
ROLE OF PROPHECY IN OUR LIVES
· Can guide and direct the course of our lives. 1 Tim 1:8 Paul encourages Timothy to live according to the prophetic WORD over His life. Numerous examples in the OT and NT
AREAS TO AVOID
Do not prophecy about birth, death and marriage. Remember we know in part. If you are wrong, it can have devastating consequences.
Do not give a personal prophecy alone. Always call someone who is a leader in the church to stand alongside you as you prophesy. It is a safety net for you and the person.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF THE GIFT AND AUTHORITY
· The gift of prophecy is for all of us. Paul says I wish that all would prophesy.
· Maturing Gift/ Prophetic ministry – that is recognized by the wider body of Christ because of your track record over time.
· Leadership with a prophetic edge.
· Prophets – Eph 4:11 A Doma Gift
· Prophet to the Nations.
VARIETY OF PROPHETIC IN TERMS OF SCOPE
· TELESCOPIC – Prophecies into the distant future
· MICROSCOPIC – Able to look into the heart of the matter.
· WIDE ANGLE LENSE – 360 perspectives to help you understand things in relation to other things
HOW DO WE HEAR GOD?
· Nudges, a sense- we have an impression or a thought.
· Through things in our natural surroundings. God may arrest your attention on an object and speak to you through that.
· When you are worshipping God may drop a thought in your mind, or a line in the song. Through a sermon.
· Your daily devotions and scripture reading.
· Dreams and visions
· A conversation and circumstances
Don’t doubt the voice and promptings of God if they line up with all the safety measures we spoke about. Submit to your mentor or leadership before you bring it to the public. I did this for years and still do it for larger gatherings.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a part of the growth
Make sure you take care to walk in holiness before the Lord. Take care of your private life and devotion because if it is not right it will catch up with you.
God has given us a great privilege: to be His mouthpiece for a hurting individual or for some to the nations. Be faithful with the little and much will be given to you.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.