The Prophetic Ministry Read: 2 Peter 1:20,21 & 1 Tim 1:18 1 Cor.14: 1 “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophecy.” Verse 39 “Therefore, desire earnestly to prophecy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.” Here we are told to eagerly desire the gift of prophecy. Then why don’t we? Prophecy is proclaiming life! Ezek 37, Rom 10, 2Cor 4:13 & Prov.18:21 1 Cor.14:39 (Amplified) “So (to conclude) my brethren, earnestly desire and set your hearts on prophesying, on being inspired to preach and to teach and to interpret Gods will and purpose – and do not forbid or hinder speaking in (unknown) tongues.” This gift is for all Christians but God can even use you fulltime in the Prophetic Ministry! We need to remember that the Holy Spirit always gives according to His will. According to 1Cor.12:11 prophecy is one of 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit and He will give the correct gift at the correct time. 1 Cor.12:11 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” Never be forced into giving a prophetic word if you don’t have one, because it comes from the flesh. People come to you and ask if you don’t have a word for them. If you don’t, be honest. WHY PROPHESY AND WHY PROPHETS? Prophets has 3 revelation gifts in them: (1) Word of Wisdom (2) Word of Knowledge (3) Discerning of Spirits 1 Cor.14 Verse 3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification (things that will benefit you) and exhortation (encourage) and comfort to men.” Verse 4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” Verse 5 “I wish you all spoke with tongues but even more that you prophesied, for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.” Verse 22 “Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for the unbelievers but for those who believe.” Verse 24 “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.” Verse 25 “And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” Verse 29 “Let two of three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” Verse 30 “For you can all prophecy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” Verse 32 “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” Verse 39 “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophecy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.” God is busy restoring the 5-FOLD MINISTRY! Eph 4:11,12 The APOSTLE Ministry as FATHERHOOD. The PROPHET Ministry is to BUILD UP, COMFORT and to ENCOURAGE. The EVANGELIST Ministry for WINNING SOULS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The SHEPHERD Ministry is for CARING FOR GOD’S PEOPLE. The TEACHER’S Ministry is to INSTRUCT and to TEACH. PROPHETIC SCHOOLS Throughout the Old Testament we read about prophetic schools where students were taught to prophesy. 2 Kings 2:3-5 (Bethel & Jericho) 2 Kings 4:38 (Gilgal) 2 Kings 5:22 (Ephraim) 2 Kings 6: 1-7 2 Kings 9:1-4 PROPHETS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO GOD. 1. God does nothing without first revealing it to his prophets. Amos 3:7 & Amos 7:14,15. 2. Obadia took 100 prophets and hid them in two caves, so that Jezebel could not have them killed. (1 Kings 18) 3. Jehoshaphat stood and said “listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld, have faith in His prophets and you will be successful.” (2 Chron.20) 4. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SEER AND A PROPHET? Prophets was first called a seer, because he could see more than others (2 Kings 6:8-17). God wants us all to move in the prophetic ministry. 1 Sam 9:9 2 Sam 15:27 2 Sam 24:11 1 Chron.29:29 2 Chron.16:7 2 Chron.19:2 2 Chron.35:15 THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PROPHECY 1. If you want to prophecy, let God’s Spirit come on you! Num 11:25 “Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.” 2. Samuel said to Saul in 1 Sam 10:5-6 Verse 5 “After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.” Verse 6 “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” 3. Read 1 Sam 19:18-24 and you will see what happened when God’s Spirit came on these men! PROPHECY IN THE BOOK OF ACTS Acts 9:1-19 o V.5 “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” “Goads” is the things irritating you. The word “pricks” are also used. This was a shovel that they used when they ploughed. On the one side was a shovel to clean the plough and on the other side a sharp part to prick the oxen so that they will pull harder. o V.6 Some times God does not give you all the details but still expect you to do what He says. What do you think could have happened if Ananias did not do what God told him to do? When God tells you to phone someone, do it! God told a Christian lady to phone a house one morning when she knew that there was nobody home. The man of the house wanted to commit suicide by shooting himself just the moment she phoned. His life was saved and his family was saved through the obedience of this child of God. o V. 10,11 Other times God gives you details as He did to Ananias, the prophet. He gave him the name of the Street and even told him what Paul was doing at that time. o V.12 According to this verse God gave Paul a prophetic vision that a man called Ananias will come and lay hands on him. Isn’t this great? o V 13-16 When any gift works through you, you will need a lot of faith to step out and do what God wants you to do. Acts 11:27-30 o V.27 I believe that Prophets should come together in these crucial times to minister to the Church. Prophets should not be “lone rangers” but be a part of God’s team. Prov.18:1 “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire” If you want to be a prophet, do not walk alone. Two is always better than one! (2 Cor.13:1) o V.28,29 The church did not wait for the famine to come before they acted. The bible says that Agabus said that there was going to be a “great famine throughout all the world.” So before it came that acted on the prophetic word and sent relief. Remember: When Israel sold there “prophetic voice” (Joseph) they became slaves in Egypt. Acts 13:1-4 o V. 1 I believe that these ministries should be in the local Church. o Paul is only launched into his ministry after he has been saved for more than ten years. God saves you; then there is the preparation time before He sends you. o We will have more success in our ministries if we allow the Holy Spirit to send us out. (v.2) o V. 4 “Many WENT that was not SENT” Acts 21:8-13 o V. 8 This meeting took place in Philip the evangelist’s house. Philip started out as one of the first seven deacons (Acts 6). You can move from one ministry to another as God needs you! o V. 9 This must have been a wonderful home! To have daughters that kept themselves pure before God and also to be used by God in the prophetic ministry. o V. 10,11 Agabus performed a “prophetic act” (you will find more about this at the end of this teaching.) (1) The Bible allows for personal prophecy (2) Most of the times it will confirm something in your heart. (3) Sometimes it’s a “new” word. Mary was shocked when the angel spoke to her telling that she will be the mother of the Messiah. It was not something she knew before. o V.12,13 What do you think, did Paul do the wrong thing not listening to the prophecy of Agabus? I think the correct answer is that God wanted to prepare him for what was waiting for him. He could have stayed behind and miss the missionary journeys. Paul made his choice in the beginning of his walk with God, to obey his calling. We are today grateful to Paul that he did obey the call of Christ. One of the reasons that we are glad is that he wrote a large part of the New Testament. He did not back out because trouble was ahead. What we read in Acts 20:22-24 sums up his philosophy. MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND HAB. 2:1-3 Verse 1. “I will stand my watch. And set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” (Don’t be passive if you want to hear from God - but be watchful) Verse 2. “Then the Lord answered me and said; “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Write down your vision clearly so that, whoever reads it may run with it and be inspired) Verse 3. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (At the appointed time it will happen! Good advice: Remind God of your prophecy and call it into being in faith and do your part also. PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE USED BY GOD IN THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY MUST TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING: (1) A prophet must only speak when lead by the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:19-21) Verse 19. 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; Verse 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is if any private interpretation. Verse 21. For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Sam. 23:2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.” (2) A prophet must get understanding from God about dreams and visions. Dan. 1:17 “Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” 1 Pet 1:10 “of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you” (3) A prophet must fear God. We need leaders that can teach God’s people how to fear God! (2 Kings 17:24-28) (4) A prophet must fear God. We need leaders that can teach God’s people how to fear God. There is a striking story in 2 Kings 17:24-28 concerning the fear of God. o V.25 Because the people did not fear God, He sent lions among them, which killed some of them. o V.27 The Assyrian king called for a priest to teach the people how to serve the Lord. o V.28 “Then one of the priests whom they carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord” (5) Prophecy should always exalt God. Rev.19:10 The Living Bible “The purpose of all prophecy and all I have shown you is to tell about Jesus.” Rev. 19:10 NKJV “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (6) Always be very specific, even though you don’t understand everything God gives. 2 Kings 5:10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan even times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” Elisha, the prophet, told Naaman to wash him seven times in the Jordan river to be healed from his leprosy. If he understood the reason for this or not. (7) A prophet is a watchman. The prophet should inform the people and sound the alarm when it is needed. The prophet is the forerunner. When God speaks a word of judgment over a person or people, He always makes room for repentance. Ezek.3:16-21 Verse 16. Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me saying, Verse 17. “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth and give them warning from me: Verse 18. “When I say to the wicked “You shall surely die, and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” Verse 19 “Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Verse 20 „Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. (8) The main reason for prophesying is to exhort. God looks past the faults of His people and sees their potential – and that is what God will always give you to speak to uplift them. There is to many “sheriffs” in the church. There is to many “visitors” that wants to give direction in churches. 1 Cor. 14:3 “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” Acts 15:30-32 Verse 30. “So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.” Verse 31. “When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.” Verse 32. “Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.” HOW DOES A PROPHETIC WORD COME? It can come through a vision or a dream. Isa 1:1; Dan 8:1; Amos 1:1; Num 12:6 “Then He said, “Hear now My words; if there is a prophet among you, I the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.” It can come through the written Word. It can come through the impartation of the Holy Spirit into our spirit. CAN A WOMAN PROPHECY? We read of the following women in the Bible that God used to prophecy; Miriam – Ex. 15:20 She was 92 years old! Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Deborah – Judg. 4:4-5 Verse 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. Verse 5. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgement. (counsel) Judg. 5:7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel. Huldah – 2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Kings 23 2 Kings 22:14-20 “So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess.” Anna – Luke 2:36-37 Verse 36. Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; Verse 37. And this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. Philip had 4 unmarried daughters who had a ministry to prophecy. We read about them in Acts.21:9. “Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.” They must have been very young. THE PROPHETIC ACT Prophecy in action is acting out Prophecy The Holy Spirit may feel that what is being said should be done by actions ! 1 Kings 11:29-31 See what Ahijah did with his garment! 2 Kings 4:1-7 The widow did a prophetic act when she borrowed empty vessels from her neighbours! 2 Kings 5: 9-14 The washing of Naaman 7 times in the River Jordan was a prophetical act. 2 Kings 13: 14-19 Jer. 13: 1-9 Jer. 35:1-9 Ezekiel: o Ezekiel eats the scroll (Ezek.3:1-3) He ate it in private o He made a clay model of Jerusalem (Ezek.4:1-17) Agabus: Acts 21:10,11 Joshua marches around Jerico I want to thank God that we can pray, speak and sing prophetically. Sing like Mary did in Luke 1:47-50 Verse 47 “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Verse 48 “For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Verse 49 “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” Verse 50 “And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.” I pray that God will give us a prophetic song so that his church will rise to higher levels! Listen to your spirit and hear if the Spirit of God want some action from you ! Faith without works are dead !
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