There is so much confusion among Christians as to what prophecy or prophesying comprises, and to find out what we need to go to the Christians guidebook, the Holy Bible.
What is Biblical Prophecy?
The gift of prophecy in First Corinthians 12:10, and 13:8 is “speaking forth the mind and counsel of God” (Vine, W. E., & Strong, J., 1999). If prophecy is speaking the mind of God, will there be more books given or added to the Bible by prophets? A resounding no!!! We are warned in the Old and New Testament not to change, add or take away from the Word.
“1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you”
“18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Prophesying Used as An Evangelical Tool:
Prophesying is used to witness and bring glory to God.
“4 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)
Prophecy Brings Edification, Exhortation, and Consolation:
According to the Word of God in First Corinthians 14:3, – “But the one who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and exhortation and consolation.
VINES: “a building, or edification” (b) figuratively, It expresses the strengthening effect of teaching.
THAYER’S GREEK LEXICON: 3. exhortation, admonition, encouragement: Acts 15:31 (others refer this to 4); 1 Corinthians 14:3; 2 Corinthians 8:17; Philippians 2:1; 1 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 12:5.
VINES: primarily “a speaking closely to anyone” (para, “near,” muthos, “speech”), hence denotes “consolation, comfort,” with a greater degree of tenderness than No. 1, 1Cr 14:3.
All Gifts Are Given by the Holy Spirit
All gifts are given to believers by and through the Holy Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 12:3-11
“3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
“3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”
Prophecy Must Verify God’s Word
Prophecy is given to us through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will always confirm the Word of God, Who is Christ, and Christ, Who is the Word of God. If someone gives you a prophetic word regardless of who it is, how popular they are including if it is yourself, verify, verify, verify in the Word of God.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
“3 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Vine, W. E., & Strong, J. (1999). The New Strong’s Concise Concordance & Vines Concise Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.