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Prophet, prophecy, and or prophesy are used 668 times in 574 verses in the Bible. Not a minor topic, but something we should take seriously. Let’s see what the Word says about this gift.
Genesis 20.7 Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." This is an interesting first mention of the topic in the Bible. Abraham is called a prophet by the Lord. From this text, authority and healing are connected with the prophetic ministry. 2 Kings 5.3
Exodus 15.20 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. From early times – prophecy was not limited to men.
Numbers 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. 29
Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the
Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon
them!" This prophetic gift is transferrable. Moses (as well as Paul) wished all God’s people could have this
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. Dreams and visions are two of the ways the prophetic word comes.
Deuteronomy 18.5 "The Lord
your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your
brethren. Him you shall hear. Here Jesus is prophesied to be a prophet. This
is confirmed over and over in the Gospels. He is called a Prophet and He
prophesies. We are to follow after Him and do even greater works than He did
(including prophesy). Matthew 21.11, Luke 24.19, John 4.19, 6.14, 7.40, Acts
Judges 6.7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, 8 that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; God sends His prophets to prophesy encouraging words for His people when they cry to Him.
1 Samuel 1.3 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.
2 Samuel 24.11 Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David's seer. 1 Kings 1.8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah. Interesting that David thought prophecy was so important that he had a couple of prophets that he relied on. (He was not the only king in Israel to do so.)
2 Kin. 3.14-16 And Elisha said…but now bring me a musician.” Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, “Thus says the Lord…’ Worship facilitates the prophetic.
1 Chronicles 16.22 Saying, "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm." Prophets are due our respect and protection. Psalm 105.15
1 Chron. 25.1 Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals; and the number of those who performed their service was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. 3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah , Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six , under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the LORD. 4 Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman the king's seer to exalt him according to the words of God, for God gave fourteen sons and three daughters to Heman. 6 All these were under the direction of their father to sing in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, harps and lyres, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the direction of the king. 7 Their number who were trained in singing to the LORD, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288. Here worship and prophesy are tied closely together.
2 Chron. 20.20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper." Nothing more need be said.
2 Chron. 36:11 Zedekiah was
twenty-one years old when he became king , and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
12 He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he did not humble himself
before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD. 15 The LORD, the God of
their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He
had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; 16 but they continually
mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets,
until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no
remedy. We need to be careful how we respond to prophets….
Jeremiah 7.25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. Prophets are God’s servants. Rev. 10.7
Jer. 27.18 But if they are
prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now make
intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house
of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to
Babylon.' Here the prophetic is tied to intercession.
Amos 3.7-8 Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
Zechariah 8.9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets.” If we pay attention to prophetic words, we can strengthen our hands.
Matthew 10.41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Acts 2.17-18 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. Peter quotes Joel on the Day of Pentecost that the primary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit is prophesy. This is available to ALL FLESH.
Acts 13.1-3 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Worship facilitates the prophetic – personal prophecy.
Acts 19.6 And when Paul had laid
hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and
prophesied. Here Paul imparted the Holy Spirit by laying on hands and gave
Romans 1.11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established – that ism that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Romans 12.6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 1 Corintians. 12.10 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. Ephesians 4.11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, The gift of prophecy is the only gift listed in all three listings of gifts. It is a motivational, manifestation, and office gift.
1 Cor. 14:1 Pursue love, yet
desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and
consolation. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies
edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even
more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one
who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive
edifying. 12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to
abound for the edification of the church. 22 So then tongues are for a
sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a
sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 24 But if all
prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by
all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed;
and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is
certainly among you. 26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble,
each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an
interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 29 Let two or three
prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 31 For you can all prophesy
one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the
spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of
confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 39 Therefore, my
brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in
tongues. There are many powerful truths in this passage. Read it through
again and see what Paul, by the Holy Spirit says about prophecy and
Ephesians 2.20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, The church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets.
1 Thessalonians 5.20 Do not despise prophecies. ‘Nough said.
1 Timothy 1.18 This charge I
commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning
you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, The prophecies we receive
are to be used for spiritual warfare.
1 Tim. 4.14 Do not neglect the
gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of
the hands of the eldership 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely
to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Again, spiritual gifts
were given by laying on of hands and prophecy. Timothy was charged to meditate
and give himself entirely to those prophecies that his progress would be
evident to all.
1 Peter 4.10-11 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any one speaks, let him speak as the oracle of God. Here, all speaking gifts were to be presented as though God, Himself, were speaking – i.e. prophesy. A case could easily be made that this is talking of personal prophesy because of the use of one another.
1 John 4.1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. Here’s the standard to test prophecies.
Revelation 19.10 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."