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Paul's Instructions Regarding Prophecy
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1.) Desire to Prophesy
Pursue Love yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts
but especially that you may prophesy.
One who prophesies speaks to men for edification,
exhortation, and consolation. (1 Cor 14 :1, 3)
2.) Keep your motives to prophesy pure instead of for selfish motives...would you still
want to prophesy if there was a possibility you could be arrested and put to death for it?
Since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for
the edification of the church (1 Cor 14:12)
3.) Do things in an orderly fashion. Prophets have no excuse to interrupt another who
is currently speaking. Beware of a prophet who cannot control him or herself.
Do all things decently and in order. Let two or three
prophets speak and let the others pass judgement. For all can
prophesy one by one so that all may learn and all be exhorted....
and the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
(1 Cor 14:26,29,31)
I believe the portion of this scripture reference where Paul speaks about the 'spirit of the
prophets are subject to the prophets', is a safeguard against false prophets who are influenced
by evil spirits. A possessed person who is acting under evil supernatural influence cannot
control themselves and thus they will not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit of self-control. This is
confirmed in Jesus' exhortation regarding false prophets not bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
4.) An exhortation to pastors to allow prophesy.
Let all things be done for edification. (1 Cor 14:26)
Desire earnestly to prophesy and do not forbid to speak in tongues.
But all things must be done decently and in order. (I Cor 14:39-40)
The above are guidelines of spiritual authority the church must follow in the area of prophecy to
safeguard the body of Christ.
The prophet Jeremiah said: and I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak in His name
anymore. But His word was in my hearrt like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of
holding it back, and I could not. Jeremiah 20:9
It has been my experience that a word from God feels as though your spirit expands
tremendously inside of your body. The feeling is very hard to describe. Sometimes it feels as
though a balloon has blown up inside of your body, other times I have noticed my spirit actually
moving inside of me when the Lord wants to speak. As Jeremiah says, it is VERY difficult to
contain a Word from the Lord, it fairly bursts out, which I believe is one of the reasons that
prophets are exhorted to control themselves in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. When a prophet
is not able to give a Word from God immediately it can take extreme effort to contain it.
Is Prophesying Bad News Biblical?
If someone came and prophesied to me that I was a loser who was never going to go anywhere I
wouldn't receive that message. If someone came to me with a corrective word, and I knew it hit
the nail on the head for my life, I would receive it if it also exhorted me to come up higher and
didn't just tell me how awful I was. God is not the accuser of the brethren, Satan is.
Would I accept a prophecy if it told me of a coming storm in my life or gave me news that I didn't
want to hear?
Some people would believe that God would never tell us something negative. They refuse to
believe prophetic words that have any bad news or correction in the message. They believe that
negative prophecies go against the grain of faith.
This belief is totally unscriptural.
Job 33:14-18 (NLT)
14But God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. 15He speaks in dreams, in
visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed. 16He whispers in their ear and
terrifies them with his warning. 17He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride.
18He keeps them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death.
God does tell us things that we don't particularly wish to hear, to help us. Things aren't always
pleasant to face but He is always with us to deliver us.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord shall deliver him out of every one.
Pharaoh dreamed of a coming famine. Joseph received the interpretation of the dream from
God. God warned them of a disaster but helped them avert the tragedy that could have resulted
had they not been warned. The Lord will deliver us out of tribulations but He doesn't always
prevent them from happening.
The following two scriptures are examples of New Testament examples of bad news coming
In Acts 11:27, Agabus stood up during a meeting and tells of a coming famine in all the world.
Then, in Acts 21:11, Agabus came to see Paul and took his belt and prophesied that Paul was
going to be bound by the Jews in the future. (Acts 21:11)
Paul didn't deny the prophecy saying, "I have faith that this will not happen." Instead, he trusted
God to carry him through the storm. On another occasion, Paul was told by an angel that the ship
he was on was going to sink. He didn't say, "I have faith that it will not happen." He was not told
to believe his way out of it because denying the Word of the Lord is not biblical faith.
Rom 8:16-19, 28 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer
with [him], that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present
time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the
earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of
God..................And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
The good news is that God does not leave us nor forsake us. All things work to the good for
those who love God. When God warns us of trials to come it is a testament to His love and
caring concern for His children. He has not left us, nor forsaken us, and He cares about us so
much that He will warn us of things to come but it doesn't stop there. His word also tells us that
He will work out everything to be a benefit to us. We will not be made ashamed and we will not
be left fatherless. No matter what our futures hold we trust God to carry us through them.
Copyright 2008 Mia Sherwood Ministries