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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Gifts of the Spirit: Prophesy

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NKJV defines prophecy (noun--pronounced prah'-fa-see) as follows:
1. the foretelling or prediction of what is to come.
2. something that is declared by a prophet, especially a divinely inspired prediction, instruction, or exhortation.
3. a divinely inspired utterance or revelation: oracular prophecies.
4. the action, function, or faculty of a prophet.

The Bible is a little more specific--it refers to the Word of God given by a prophet or by Jesus himself. It can be an inspired prediction or instruction.

Please don't mix up prophesy with astrology or with predictions given by people who claim to know the future. If it doesn't come from God, it's not prophesy. If it doesn't bring Him honor, it's not prophesy.

The Bible says the test of a true prophet is that which he or she prophecies (verb--pronounced prah'-fa-sighs) comes to pass. If someone tells me there will be a huge earthquake that destroys the West Coast of the US on September 12 of 2015 at 3 in the morning, I would back up a step or two from him. Careful--Jesus told us only the Father knows the time and date. No one. That person would become, in my eyes, a false prophet, a person who might even lead people away from the One God.

The Bible says we should be as innocent but wise. The Bible says we should test the spirits. Two tests: 1. Does it draw people to God? and 2. Does it come to pass? It has to pass BOTH tests!

Hang onto those tests. Don't take everything, even if it comes from someone well-known in the religious arena.

Lord, teach us. Help us to be able to apply those tests, even if the prophesy comes from someone we know, trust, and love. Help us to remember to pray before we speak, too, lest we be guilty of the same thing. Lead us, precious Lord, and thank You. Amen.
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