Gift of Prophecy
The gift of prophecy is often confused with the prophetic office. There is a ministry of the prophet, but not everyone who prophesies is a prophet. To stand in the office of a prophet, one should also have some gift of revelation of at least two, either word of wisdom, knowledge, or discerning of spirits. In other words, any two gifts of revelation plus prophecy and a consistent manifestation of the two of the revelation gifts.
The gift of prophecy is also confused with preaching. Preaching is to proclaim, to announce, to cry, to tell. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 Jesus did not say prophesy to every creature. Paul also did not say the foolishness of prophesying will save men. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe (1 Corinthian 1:21)
In the New Testament, prophets sometimes are referred to as a small group who witnessed the resurrected Christ and were given a special mission by Him as His representative (1Corinthians 9:1, 15:5, 8) as was the case of the Old Testament prophets; this primary responsibility of the New Testament prophets was not predicting the future but presenting God’s message to their contemporaries. Old Testament prophecy is foretelling, while the New Testament prophecy is forth-telling. Example of forth-telling (1 Corinthian 14:3) But he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation, and comfort to men.
Old Testament prophecy mainly dealt with the future; sometimes, centuries happen. The New Testament prophecy is not so much what will happen in the future, but it is a ministry to make people better and most useful Christians. We had a guest speaker from a neighboring church who came with this minister who prophesied to me that an angel would visit me, for God had a message for me, and he walked away and came back with our Bishop and confirmed the prophecy.
27 Now, you are the body of Christ and members individually.
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracle, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. (Corinthian 12:27-31)
Paul is talking here about the most excellent way is the way of love.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophecy is the essential gift, as scriptures in 1 Corinthians 14:5 have said. “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.”
These gifts of revelation are all inspired utterances by the Holy Spirit.
- Tongues are inspired utterances in an unknown tongue.
- Prophecy is an inspired utterance in a known tongue.
- Interpretation of tongue is an inspired utterance in your tongue to give interpretation to an unknown tongue.