“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”
I Corinthians 14:29 NKJV
The Word prophecy immediately conjures predictions. Human curiosity about the future has led to many mental, metaphorical and spiritual adventures aimed at being able to peer into the future so as to be prepared for it before it comes or at least be able to make the right choices in alignment with it. Prayer, transcendental meditation, astral travels, consultation of mediums, mysticism, divination, magic, astrology and witchcraft are some of the numerous ways humans try to connect with forces outside of themselves to know what the future holds for them.
The Bible is full of many fulfilled prophecies and derives it’s authority from this fact. While a few prophecies are yet to become a reality, no body of literature in the world contains as many predictions which have been fulfilled as the Bible. It stands tall and exceptional in this reality. However, the concept of prophecy in the Bible is wider than predictions of the future to everything said or written under divine inspiration. Inspiration which simply means the breadth of the almighty refers to everything declared under the influence of the Spirit. Such effect on the human spirit conveys the wisdom of God and imparts understanding. The beautiful truth about the New Testament is that we all can enjoy this blessing.
“For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”
I Corinthians 14:31 NKJV
We can all speak forth by inspiration for the benefit of the entire church. Speaking by the Spirit of God. However, in the course of so doing, revelations about the past, present or future can also be manifested.
This brings me to the office of the prophet(Ephesians 4.11). While every believer can speak forth the word of God by prophecy, it takes more to be a prophet. A true prophet of God is one who is a preacher and or a teacher of the Word of God and someone who regularly operates in the revelation gifts. Two out of three of the gifts of revelation ought to be in constant manifestation by the Spirit of God to recognize the ministry of a prophet. When a prophecy comes to you, ask the following:
1. Is it scriptural? All prophecies should build faith in Jesus and line up with the revelation of the Word of God.
2. Does it align with the revealed will of God in your spirit?
3. Does it glorify God!
4. Is it edifying, comforting, and exhorting according to 1 Corinthians 14.2-3)?
◦ Many believers consult prophets in order to find direction. However, in the New Testament, prophets cannot be guides like under the Old Testament because we all have the Holy Spirit and his witness(Roman’s 8.1) today. In order words, do not allow your life to be guided by prophets but rather by the Spirit of God. Prophets can confirm the will of God to us but not determine the will of God
I like the part:
‘Prophets can CONFIRM the will of God but not DETERMINE the will of God’. But it lunches one to a lot of questions like ‘ what is the will of God for you, are you at the right place at the right time doing the right thing with the right people?’ etc.