Prophecy taught by Katherine Briggs and Pastor Don
Bible study of 9/16/11 – Katherine Briggs (whom we dearly miss at Friday Bible studies) taught a wonderful class on Prophecy. Unless other wise stated, Bible passages are from the New King James Bible. Kathy began the Bible study with Scriptures and then Pastor Don added further comments.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, prophecy means: the foretelling or prediction of something to come. The Scriptures are a book of prophecy. Preaching to the public the interpretation of Scripture. To utter as if by divine inspiration.
It is a spiritual gift:
1 Corinthians 12:10A – …to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy,…
Parents prophesy over their children:
Proverbs 31:1 (King James) The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
To be effective and useful, prophecy must be done in love or it profits nothing:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 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. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Words of God can speak life into a situation. Ezekiel was instructed to speak to the dry bones.
Ezekiel 37:4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
Prophecy can illuminate and inspire. It is an anointing of God to enter into a situation to preach, announce, instruct, protect, deliver, or change a situation. It can show what will come, and even the one speaking the prophecy may not know what or when. For example, Daniel foretelling about the birth of Jesus.
As we saw above, it is a gift of the spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10) and
2 Peter 1:19-21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that 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.
Man does not prophesy, it is holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy in Scripture is for the Body of Christ.
When we receive a word of prophecy from another, we must test it to make sure that it lines up with the Word of God. If it doesn’t line up with what the Bible teaches it is not from God. We also need to make sure that the prophecy edifies and lifts us up.
Matthew 7:20-23 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!’
1 John 4:1-6 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit flow through God’s power. They are hindered or stopped by doubt. We can hinder a prophecy by stating – IF it will happen. The if sheds doubt.
COMMENTS BY PASTOR DON MOORE
When God speaks in the prophetic, unless God states that it is unconditional, it is conditional.
For example: God sent Jonah to prophesy to the Ninevites. God was going to destroy their land unless they repented. When they repented and changed their ways, God did not destroy the land.
If God says He will do it, He will. God does not lie.
When Hezekiah was told to put his house in order, he turned to the wall and prayed, asking God for more time. God honored that prayer and Hezekiah lived for fifteen more years. (Sadly, that was not good for Israel. Hezekiah, during those fifteen years, had a son born to him who brought down the destruction of Israel through his evil ways)
Our country, America, is trying to stand on prophecy, but is not meeting the conditions. We are pulling way from being united UNDER GOD. Unless we pull back in line with God’s word, we can pray, and that does not mean God will come and heal our land. His healing of our land is conditional to our obedience to His Word.
Sometimes we want God to change the results of our disobedience, but God does not. For example, the first child that David had with Bathsheba (a child conceived in sin) died, even though David prayed that God would spare the child’s life.
Some prophecies are set in stone, others are conditional.
When prophecy comes, we need to have discernment – We can’t always listen to the voice of the prophet – unless the prophet is speaking the Words of God and those words line up with the Bible. If the prophet is saying something contrary to God, it is not a true prophecy and God will not honor a false prophecy.
Personal prophecy is always conditional unless God terminates the conditions.
The prophet may only be able to speak about the condition, but the outcome is between the recipient of the prophecy and God.
God always looks for someone to stand in the gap until the final judgement comes. There are conditions and ramifications to be paid.
The love of God is not separate from the judgment of God.
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When we are born again we receive the Holy Spirit within us, but it is not the same as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that comes with the spiritual gifts. When we are born again we receive an infilling of the Holy Spirit, but the Baptism of the Holy Spirit endues us with Power and the Grace of God. Still, we can have this infilling of the Holy Spirit and do nothing with it. We are to diligently seek the gifts of the Spirit. We need to step forward, in faith, and do what the Lord wants us to do.
When the Holy Spirit fell on the people gathered in the Upper Room, observers thought the people were drunk, but really what was happening was the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 – which Peter quotes in the following.
Acts 2:14-21 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Notice that not only men, but women will prophesy.
We need to seek what God has for us. We want spiritual gifts to be activated and to operate in the five-fold ministry.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 details the spiritual gifts. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 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.
The gift of word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Notice that through all these gifts is the SAME SPIRIT – the HOLY SPIRIT operating.
The five-fold ministry – Ephesians 4:11-12 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,
The Five-fold ministry are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers – and all the spiritual gifts and the five-fold ministry are to be used for the equipping of the saints.
There are other gifts mentioned in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Areall teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
The gifts are manifested in works of administration and helps. Never underestimate the kinds of works and help that you do. What happens in the kitchen ministry is important and vital to the Church. No area of helps is unimportant.
All of the ministries are edified by Christ and to be used for edifying the Body of Christ.
Why did He do it? Ephesians 4:9-10 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Jesus, when he walked on earth as man, had to get His power from the Holy Spirit the same way we do. That gives us the courage to act and operate in these gifts and ministries. If Jesus had been born as God on earth, we would have no hope to operate in these giftings, but we can do what Jesus did. Jesus showed us it was possible to do these things He did.
Jesus is raised up to His rightful place in Heaven and soon He will come down to rule and reign and establish His Kingdom on earth. Jesus defeated the enemy, and we have been given the power and authority to carry out His plans on the earth.
Jesus, the second Adam, defeated sickness, sin, and death. While He walked on earth, fully man, he did the very things that we are instructed to do. He did them with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not through His Godhood. Because He was able to do these things as a man, so should we be able to do them. When He died and was resurrected, He defeated satan, and then gave us authority over satan and his minions. The devil is defeated, but we still give him power over our lives. It is a choice. We can either walk in victory over satan or let the enemy hold power over us.
When Jesus was met near the tomb, He told Mary Magdalene not to cling to him because He had to ascend to Heaven and present the perfect blood sacrifice to the Father. We know God said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We want Jesus to say that to us as well.
Ephesians 4:7-10 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
During the time in the tomb, Jesus went to hell and led captivity captive, satan was unable to hold him in death because Jesus was sinless. He paid the ransom for our sins and those in Abraham’s Bosom were brought to Heaven. He preached to those in Sheol, then rose to Heaven. Jesus paid the price for all our sins: past, present, and future.
Jesus came and opened the prison doors. It is up to us to walk out of that prison. Many of us, even though the prison door is open, choose to stay in the cell. It isn’t only our fault, at times the clergy wants to keep us bound.
Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Jesus MADE HIMSELF of no reputation. He could have come down as God, but instead He came down as a bondservant, in the likeness of men. He came down as a doulos, a servant.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
He was obedient to the point of death on the cross. Man, in Jesus’ day, had figured out the most cruel death possible – the death on the Cross. Every second on that Cross was agony. If he wanted to breathe, Jesus had to push himself up on his nail-pierced feet to gulp a breath of air, then He lowered Himself, causing the nerves and tendons in the arm to give agonizing pain. The death was to take a long time (sometimes up to a week people suffered on the Cross) full of suffering, but Jesus was even the master over death – HE gave up HIS spirit – death did not take it from Him. Jesus gave up His spirit when His work was finished – not before and not later.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus left his deity in Heaven, came down to earth, died, descended, then ascended, then rose, then ascended.
Because Jesus of Nazareth was a man, not an all-powerful God, it means that we can do what He did. Most of His time on earth, He called Himself, “Son of Man.” But a few times He also called Himself, “Son of God.” As a man, Jesus derived His power from the same place we get ours, from the Holy Spirit.
There are different forms of prophecy – dreams, visions, trances, gifts of the Spirit.
Our dreams could be just natural, or a spiritual dream that is meant for guidance – ours or others.
Visions that are spiritual give revelation knowledge from our spirits.
Trances can be physical or they can show us something from the realm of the Spirit.
Acts 10:10-18 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. Peter was up on the roof, physically hungry. He fell into a trance and saw a vision that included food (hunger) but this vision showed Peter a higher spiritual meaning, that he was to preach to the Gentiles and be able to eat what they ate. This vision showed Peter what was to come and gave Him the courage to go with Cornelius and minister to him.
Acts 22:17-18 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
There are different kinds of visions. An OPEN VISION is the highest form – it it we are in our full physical capacity (eyes open) but we are seeing in the realm of heaven. We can see, touch. For example, John in the book of Revelation.
Pastor Don told us, if you have not done so, ask the Lord about your spiritual gifts. The gifts of the Spirit are a good starting point. Every gift we have comes from the Holy Spirit, and is meant for us to use to give God the glory. It is not meant to elevate our status or our ego. They are meant to build and edify the Body of Christ.
Acts 14:1-7 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. And they were preaching the gospel there.
We need to be obedient, to preach the Word of God, be receptive to the Spirit, and if the Spirit tells us to move elsewhere do that. Our goal is to be obedient to God and the Spirit.
Have a blessed day.
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