What is Prophecy?
- 1 Cor 14:29-31: prophecy = “revelation”
- Exod 7:1-2: God — prophet — people
- See also: Num 23:16; 1 Sam. 3; Jer 20:9; Ezekiel 13:1-2
- Jer 23:9-40: external word that surpasses internal thoughts and feelings
How Do You Prophesy?
- Acts 2:4: “were filled” “Spirit gave” “began to speak” (see also 1 Cor 12:10-11; 14:32)
- 1 Cor 14:1, 13: “desire…pray”
- Rom 12:6: “in proportion to our faith”
Scripture & Prophecy
- 2 Pet 1:19-21: “prophecy of Scripture” (see also Rev 22:18)
- Acts 15:13-17: “with this the words of the prophets agree” (cf. Acts 10:9-16)
- Matt. 3:17-4:4: “It is written”
- See also: Acts 13:1 (“prophets and teachers”)
- 1 Cor 14:29-36: “speak…others weigh…”
- 1 Thes 5:19-21: “do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good”
- Acts 17:11: “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures DAILY to see if these things were so”
- 1 John 4:1-2; Rev 19:10: testifies of the true Jesus (cf. 2 Cor 11:4)
- See also: Heb. 4:12; Rev 2:2, 20
- Test prophecies (see above)
- Prophecies fulfill as you walk with the Lord
- Jeremiah 18:5-10; Jonah 3:10: May be conditional on other factors
- Genesis 15:4-16:4: Don’t try to fulfill yourself
- Jeremiah 23:20: “In the last days you will clearly understand it”
- 1 Cor. 12-14: Prophecies are part of a larger rubric of knowing and following Christ.
- Matt. 7:22: They don’t ensure you know Christ.
- 1 Thes. 5:19-21: Don’t give too much or too little weight to prophetic utterance
- See Discern Truth for wider array of how God leads us
- Deut 13:1-5 – look to God’s authoritative word and ways over signs and wonders
- Deut 18:21-22; Ezekiel 33:33 – should have some supernatural attestation
Wonders of Prophecy
When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.Ezekiel 33:33
- 1 Cor 14:3, 24-25: sample effects of prophecy
Select Prophecies in the Bible
- Num. 24:2-9: “When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message: ‘The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor…How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel! Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river…Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted…They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them.
- Isaiah 44:26-28: “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners…who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’”
- Ezekiel 13:1-2: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: “Hear the word of the Lord!”‘”
- Haggai 1:13: “Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
- Zechariah 11:4-6: “This is what the Lord my God says: ‘Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, “Praise the Lord, I am rich!” Their own shepherds do not spare them. For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.’
- Acts 11:28: “Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)”
- Rev. 2:18-29: “These are the words of the Son of God…I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”