Prophetic Series Part 1 – The Gift of Prophecy
You’ve asked for it and so we are doing a prophetic series. I think we can do in 4 – 5 different teachings. Here is what we will cover:
- The Gift of Prophecy
- Is the gift of prophecy in operation today?
- My personal testimony of how I discovered I had the gift.
- How do you know if you have the gift of prophecy?
- How do I identify false prophet?
- Understand the timeline of the prophetic word. I think this one is the point most people struggle with.
- How to receive and process personal Prophetic Words
- Where do I get mentoring if I have the gift of prophecy?
- The prophetic and money/sowing a seed
- The connection between idolatry and false prophets. We already wrote about this.
If there are any other questions that you have concerning prophecy, please put it in the comments below and we’ll cover it.
The Gift of Prophecy
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT)
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”
The first mention of a prophet in the bible is Abraham in Genesis 20:7. After that we see many books written about them in the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel) and the 12 minor prophets (Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).
Then there are prophets in the New Testament, like the apostle John, who was never actually called a prophet but he wrote the book of Revelation under the power of the Holy Spirit using his Seer gift (1 Samuel 9:9).
John was not formally called a prophet but it is the fruit of his ministry that shows the gift. By their fruit you shall know them (Matthew 7:16).
We also don’t get to choose the spiritual gift we receive it is God who decides what gift to impart on each person. It is before the foundations of the earth and from your mother’s womb (Isaiah 49:1) that God decided what gifts you should have. Even if you are not yet walking in the gift, you have it and once you start using it you will then see the fruit.
The New Testament also mentions the prophets in Ephesians 4 it says He gave some to be apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists & pastors.
There are female prophets Anna (Luke 2:36), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Chronicles 34;22), Miriam (Exodus 15:20), and Phillips’ daughters (Acts 21:8-9)
So we see there are prophets in the old and new testament and that they can be male or female.
Is the Gift of Prophecy in operation today?
Now there are denominations that say prophets no longer exists and apostles no longer exists that these two gifts passed away with the formation of the church in the book of Acts. They view prophets as the ones who wrote the books in the bible. The truth is, none of the female prophets listed above wrote books in the bible…and the bible clearly calls them prophets. So we know not all prophets in the bible wrote books in the bible. Gad, who was King David’s Seer, never wrote any books in bible (2 Samuel 24:11).
Everything we need to know is already written in the word of God. There are no additional books needed than the 66 books in the bible that have already been written.
(1 Corinthians 13:8-10 NLT)
“Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.”
When we are perfect these gifts will no longer be needed. Are you perfect? I know I’m not and the perfection only happens when we get to heaven. Therefore, the gift of prophecy…and tongues will exist until we get to heaven. That is when perfection comes.
Here’s another scripture that points to that…
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Have you been fully equipped for the works of service? I haven’t. I’m still learning. Has the body of Christ been built up and reached the unity faith? No. Have we already attained the whole measure of the fullness of Christ? No. We’re still going from glory to glory.
Therefore, prophets are still needed and so are the apostles. It’s biblical. We’re not there yet and we still need every single gift to continue our transformation into the image of Christ. And, to fulfill our individual purpose in life.
My personal testimony of how I discovered I had the gift
This part I believe needs to be shared so that you understand my background and perspective on the prophetic. This is my personal testimony of how I recognized my gift and then started using it.
I was saved in a Presbyterian Church. So no, I’m not from a Pentecost background. If you know anything about the Presbyterian doctrine they do not believe prophets and apostles are relevant today; therefore, anyone who says they are is being misled by the devil. They believe the word “prophets” in the bible refers to teacher today. This not entirely false but there’s more to it than just teaching.
The Hebrew word for prophet is Nabiy which means spokeman, speaker. Then there is the Seer which is Chozeh in Hebrew and this means prophet who has visions. In the Greek for the new testament the word is Propheteuo which means
So now we see that the prophet not only teaches but they also have the ability to tell future events.
Getting saved in a church that doesn’t recognize the gift while having the gift of prophecy means that it took me a little while (years) to realize and acknowledge that I have that gift.
I’m not bashing the church just pointing out that when you are in an environment that does not nurture your gift (and this is for any gifting) you won’t grow in it. The good news is that the word also says that the gifts and callings are without repentance so when you start using that gift it is there (Romans 11:29). It’s dormant but it is still there.
It is very common for us as humans to discount something when we don’t have those experiences. So easy to say a gift doesn’t exists when we don’t have it.
To think this way is pride. God doesn’t need our permission to operate or give gifts. He doesn’t need to clear it with John Calvin or Charles Parham. (Psalm 115:3) “God sits in heaven and he does as He pleases.”
Our correct response to things we don’t understand should be prayer. “God, what is this? I’ve never seen anything like this before. Please put the Holy Spirit filter on my spirit, my ears, my eyes and reveal to me the true source of what is going on here”
Yeah, you need to pray.
The truth is people in denominations that don’t teach on or operate in the gifts of the spirit are just afraid and they like order and when you let the Holy Ghost take control things can get weird. When you give the Holy Spirit control anything can happen. And yes, it is highly like to get WEIRD.
One of the first prayers that I prayed when I started operating in the gifts of the Spirit was “Lord, please don’t make me weird”. That is one prayer that remains unanswered, LOL
After all, this is the same Lord who told the disciples to eat His body and drink His blood.
This is the same God who told Ezekiel to take a drawing of Jerusalem under siege on a clay tablet and then laying under it on one side of 390 days then roll over on the side and repeat. And then after that take a barley cake baked on cow manure and eat it among other very weird things! (Ezekiel 4)
Then He tells Hosea to marry a prostitute (while she is still working the streets) and then name their daughter “unloved”.
And then Isaiah who had to strip off his clothes and walk around naked (Isaiah 20)
Then Jeremiah had to take his underwear wear it for several days, then take it off and hide it in a crack in the rocks, then go back and get it after a very long time to the point when he went back to get it they were rotting (eewww). Then he has to use this to prophesy God’s message (Jeremiah 13)
When you take all of this along with numerous other weird events in the bible and put them next to what goes on today… with Holy laughter, gold dust appearing on people, people being raised from the dead, jewels falling from heaven, people throwing up as demons are being exorcised and limbs growing out… it’s really not that weird.
On the flip side of that coin is that we shouldn’t be so gullible to believe everyone with a title. Every strange phenomena can’t be God because the devil can perform miracles too. Test the spirit. Not because your pastor has endorsed “so and so” and invited them to preach on the pulpit means its OK. If your spirit says its wrong, then follow your spirit. You have to Holy Spirit follow Him.
We need to have balance.
Just wanted to share this so you understand my position on the different denominations.
Back to the prophetic gift…
After I was saved I developed a deep desire and hunger for the word of God so I read the entire bible in the first 8 months. I also spent a lot of time alone with the Lord so I didn’t watch television or listen to the radio the entire time I was reading through the bible. This was my mind renewal process (Romans 12:2). I prayed and read the word. This is all I did. As a result I ended up with a very intimate relationship with the Lord. The first time I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone was 2 weeks after being saved. Yes, 2 weeks! By then I read the book of Ephesians and Galatians so I knew enough to minister to someone.
I specifically remember sitting at a traffic light and feeling like something was being downloaded into me. Like files being transferred from a zip drive into a computer. It was just a feeling I had for a few seconds. Then I heard myself quoting scriptures that Sunday and one of the leaders asked me if I read the book of Romans …but I didn’t. So I think that was one that got downloaded.
It’s like a scene out of the movie the Matrix….
‘Do you know the book of Romans? No. (2 Seconds later, zip)…well now you do. Let’s go!”
About 2 months into it I was invited to pray over some prayer cards for the church. There are no name on these cards. Few people identify themselves. I found that as I was praying I would hear myself saying things about the people that wasn’t written on the card. This is the gift of a word of knowledge. Then for some I would hear myself praying in the solution to their problems. This is the gift of wisdom gift. I would lay my hands on cards and people would get healed (I found out later). I was so excited by intercession it was a world unlike any other. To hear God speak into my spirit and tell me what was wrong with the people was amazing. Excited I went back the prayer group the following week and started sharing my experiences. How cool it was that God would speak out of my mouth things not written on the cards. You see, I thought every Christian had these same experiences. Of course they were looking at me like I had 10 heads because none of them knew what I was talking about. They then insisted that I stick to what was written on the card. Hmmm, LOL, OK then!
What they didn’t know is that I am actually not allowed to pray something that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to pray.
For example, this is a true story – a little boy was having migraine headaches doctors suspected he had a brain tumor he had several series of tests scheduled. I go into prayer and it sound like this “Dear Lord, they need to check his eyes he needs glasses”
That’s it. I can’t even pray what is on the card. God won’t let me. I couldn’t talk about this with anyone because no one else had that.
Initially I thought I was going crazy and wanted to back away from praying over the prayer cards when I realized more mature Christians didn’t know what I was talking about. Except, God who knew exactly how I was feeling, had people walk up to me in church and share with me things that I prayed over them…and they didn’t know it. The Lord used this to confirm to me that I wasn’t crazy and that He was the one doing it.
So I kept going.
I remember saying to God that I wasn’t sure if I was doing it all correctly and that I wish I had someone to teach me. Immediately after saying that I was reading through the book of 1 John and saw this…
1 John 2:27 (NLT)
“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.”
That was His response. That gave me so much comfort and peace over the years. The thing that I thought was a handicap turned out to be the best thing that happened to me.
One of the greatest benefits of being taught directly from God is that you don’t pick up other people’s dirty habits and prejudices. You also don’t inherit their ceiling. The sky is the limit.
From there I started praying for people at the front of the church. The word of knowledge gift went to another level because now there were more people so I was getting a lot of practice each week. At some point I believe I started with the prophetic without even realizing it.
For the first year that I was saved, God communicated with me through the word and by speaking into my spirit. It was very clear. There was nothing to decipher. It was all straight forward.
Intercession is a gateway gift to all the other gifts. Through prayer you have access to all the other gift. The more you use it is the more you get is the more you grow is the more He gives you another gift.
I firmly believe that intercessors can operate in EVERY spiritual gift. As the Lord needs them to when they are open to being used how God wants to use them.
I remember the first major prophecy I had was about the mortgage crisis in 2007 – 2010. The Lord said to me as I was in the secret place “write this down” I grabbed pen and paper and He said “5 things” I wrote them one at a time and I remember shaking because He had never told me to record anything before then. After I wrote the 5 points, I remember feeling such a sense of urgency in my spirit like it was going to happen that week. I didn’t understand at that time there is a timeline for all prophetic words. I didn’t even know that was a prophecy because prophets don’t exist, remember?
I took the 5 points prayed over them for myself. Got everything in my life in order according to the instructions that He gave me. After that felt like it wasn’t just for me so I shared it with a pastor a church and another leader. They just nonchalantly said OK. And that was it. Nothing happened that week. Nothing happened that month. I let it go. Blew it off and went on with life. I don’t think I have that notebook where I wrote this down anymore.
Then, 4.5 years later this mortgage crisis happens and it all comes back to me. The Lord made sure I remembered that He told me the 5 points of how people needed to prepare for this meltdown. They were specific instructions.
That was the first time I acknowledged that I had a prophetic gift. Sometimes I think about all the dreams and visions I had that I thought was complete nonsense that now I know was some warning…for someone.
After that, I started rereading every note I wrote and then I noticed that some of the things that I thought were just for me were not. So I started sharing things with close friends saving them from disastrous situations. Then I noticed that people on a national and worldwide level were having similar struggles. If I could only tell them ahead of time I would’ve saved them from making huge mistakes.
That’s the moment I felt compelled to share. I thought if I could help just one person make the right decision then this would be worth it.
Even then, I was a little fearful. So God had to give me the good ole nudge…
I specifically remember driving and praying in 2015 and he said very clearly “Stop praying and start prophesying”. I said WHAAATT?? You mean like a “thus saith the Lord, prophet? I can’t do that. What if I’m wrong?”
Then I prayed the sensible prayer “Lead me to the right group of people that can help me grow in this gift. I’m not interested in false prophets or Jezebels and I don’t want to end up with any of this” He led me to faithful saints who walk in LOVE.
They helped me to use the gift without fear and then He had me start writing the prophetic words each month.
You need to know that I don’t consider myself a prophet. I am an intercessor who operates in all the gifts as the Lord leads. If He wants me to evangelize someone and lead them to Him, I do that. If He wants me to teach you something, I do that. If He wants me to cast out demons, I do that. If He wants me to prophesy, I do that. If he wants to use me to heal someone, I do that. If He wants me to perform a miracle, I do that.
I’m a intercessor who has decided to make myself available to be used by the Lord in anyway He wants to use me.
Next Wednesday, I will cover sowing seed into the prophetic. I hope you learnt something by reading this. Please share your comments below or if you have other questions you need answered about the prophetic and I’ll answer them as we go through this series.