Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

SGs - Prophecy

What Is This Gift?

See the following Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12:10, Acts 13:1-2

Prophecy is telling people God's message. In the OT, God recited a message which the prophet dutifully wrote down exactly how God said it and then went out to tell everyone what he had just been told. In the NT, local church prophets functioned in much the same way. Before God's Word had been completed and circulated, God's people were in need of instruction in doctrine and godly morals. Prophets fulfilled this job. God revealed to them what He needed from the congregation and they communicated it to everyone. The gift of distinguishing spirits was given to test the prophetic revelations, just so everyone could relax and receive the word from God confident that it really was His word. Notice in the text that distinguishing spirits is immediately after prophecy just as interpretation of tongues immediately follows speaking in tongues (1 Cor 12:10). We can conclude safely that distinguishing is a gift in the same manner as interpretation.

Does This Gift Still Work Today?

We know what God expects from us. We have all doctrine. Peter tells us, we have everything necessary for life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him" (2 Peter 1:3). Is there still room for this gift? Although we always think of prophecy as "telling the future" or "revealing a previously hidden truth from God to man," the OT and NT prophets often reminded. Certainly this aspect of prophetic ministry is still valuable today, but is not much different than the role of a pastor, exhorter, or teacher.

There is another way in which a prophet is still used of God today. Often, a local church is in need of direction from God that is not pertinent to the universal Church. Think of a ministry, program, decision. The Bible would be too large if His entire will were expressed for every local church throughout history. Nor is it necessary that God should reveal His whole will in the Bible. there is room for God to use a prophet to reveal His will for that local church to that local church. Obviously distinguishing of the spirits is necessary, but we should embrace God's will as He tells us through Paul
"19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good." (1 Thes 5:19-21).
God's Church is constantly in need of His counsel and the revelation of His will. We should seek the prophet out to hear God's counsel.



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