How Does Prophecy Work?

I want to briefly explain how prophecy works and thus how this website will work.  It’s important that you go to my page “About Prophecy” and read through those articles in order so that you can get a better understanding for what prophecy is before reading how it works, according to the Scriptures.  After you’ve read those, then perhaps this page will make more sense.

Am I a prophet of God?  Well, no and yes.  In the Old Testament sense, as an infallible prophet of God who is without error?  No.  No, I’m not.  In the New Testament sense, as a Spirit filled believer in Jesus Christ who shares with others what the Lord has shared with me; well yes I am, as are all the saints of God.  We are all called to prophecy:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

    and your young men shall see visions,

    and your old men shall dream dreams;

even on my male servants and female servants

    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” – Act 2:17-18

19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20

“12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” – 1 Corinthians 2:12-13

Not only are we all called to prophesy, prophecy is the normal and natural activity of those who are abiding in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” – 1 Corinthians 14:1

“Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. ” 1 Corinthians 14:5

“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” – 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,” – 1 Corinthians 14:31

Ministers of a New Covenant

Because God has poured out his Holy Spirit on us, we can now have confidence to prophesy by faith as the Spirit gives utterance.

“4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

I’m no one special.  I’m a wretch who Jesus saved and so I love the Lord very, very much for what he’s done for me.  And so when I share (prophesy) here, whatever I share, it’s birthed out of a love for Christ.  I simply hope to honor him and obey him.  To know him and to make him known.

Thus Saith The Lord

Are you likely to hear me say, “thus saith the Lord”, probably not.  I’ve never uttered those words because I never felt like the Spirit gave me utterance to do so.  That being said, I’m not the boss here.  If he wants me to deliver a message like that then I suppose I’ll have to.  I’ve tried running from what he told me to do before and it didn’t work.  Funny thing is, where ever I ran, he was always there.  So, yeah, obedience to the Lord is a better idea than running from the Lord.

So How Does Prophecy Work?

How does prophecy work here? The same as it does everywhere in the church.  By grace through faith in hearing and speaking as the Spirit gives utterance.

“5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;” – Romans 12:5-7

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word (“rhema“, that which is uttered by a living voice) of Christ. – Romans 10:17

23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” – Mark 4:23-25

So as the Lord gives me the faith to share the things he wants me to share here, I’ll do just that.  What all that will be I’m not sure, but the Lord knows and his grace is sufficient for me.

I intend to simply share (prophesy) with any who would come to this site as the Spirit shares with me and prompts me to share with others.  Likewise all prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:32)  Anything that’s shared here should be subjected to the authority of the Holy Spirit in every other believer.  The LORD is your authority, not I.  Anything that I share here should always be taken to the Lord for HIS approval or rejection.

And that’s really my hope.  I so desperately want you all, anyone, everyone who comes to this site to be prompted to SEEK JESUS.  Take anything you read here and GO TO JESUS with it.  He is your Lord, your Shepard.  Go to HIM and talk to HIM about it.  And then listen for HIS voice.  He will speak to you.  It may be a whisper but you will know His voice when you hear it.

How Does Prophecy Preach Jesus Christ?

So if the purpose of prophecy is to glorify God and prophecy glorifies God by preaching Christ crucified how does it do this when the thing spoken doesn’t explicitly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the remission of sin?

There are surely endless things that the Lord may say through his people for their upbuilding and edification.  Prophecies about famines (Acts 11:27-30) or future events (Acts 21:10-12) any number of unrecorded words that have been uttered from God through one brother or sister to another.  Perhaps good news of fertility after years of bareness, or perhaps the exposing of secret sin or perhaps a simply word of encouragement in the midst or trial and suffering, “take heart brother, the Lord loves you and He is with you.”  

So how do all these different prophecies, especially the innocuous ones, preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the remission of sin?

Because all prophecy is ultimately a call to the cross, an invitation to die.

23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. – John 12:23-25

Through the prophetic word we are invited to die so that the resurrected life of Jesus Christ might be manifested in us.

10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.2 Corinthians 4:10-12

This being said, all prophecy, even if it tears down, is always for the building up.  The tearing down is of our sin stained flesh, that which is under the curse of sin and its corresponding wages, death.  The building up is of our spirit, that which is the resurrected life of Jesus Christ at work in us.

Prophecy always calls our fleshly nature to die so that the life of Jesus Christ may be manifested in us.  If prophecy is a type of cross, it’s a cross that once believed and embraced will ultimately bring forth the life giving Spirit of Jesus Christ in our mortal bodies.

But Why is Prophecy Always a Call to Die?

How can prophecy always be a call to die?  Surely if a word is shared that calls us to give up all we own and move to a remote location to preach the gospel there would be a significant “death” that would have to take place in our flesh to receive and heed such a word.

We’d have to give up everything.  Everything we loved.  Our jobs, our homes, all our possessions, our comfort.  This would indeed be a “cross to bear”, a very real death in our flesh to hear, believe and embrace this prophetic word.

But what if the word shared is rather gladly received?  Perhaps the good news of fertility after years and years of bareness?  How on earth could this word spoken and received ever be a cross to bear, a death in the flesh?

Because our minds are that which is to be crucified.

When Jesus went to the cross he was crucified on a hill called Golgatha.  Golgotha, means “skull”.  Golgotha, the skull, is a picture of the crucified mind.

In his letter to the Corinthians Paul says the cross is “folly” to those who are perishing.

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

And it is folly, the cross is so counter intuitive to everything we know.  Why would God himself in the person of Jesus Christ willingly die a death on a cross for sins he didn’t commit?  He’s the King of all creation, he should be on a throne and yet he hangs next to criminals though he himself committed no crime?  What’s reasonable, rational or logical about that?

And what about the barren women?  For years she’s petitioned the Lord for a child, by all means a sinless desire, and yet she remains barren.  What do you suppose her initial reaction would be to hearing a prophecy that in the next year she would conceive a child?  Even after all these years?  Even after all the Doctors had told her that she’d never have a baby?  Even after frankly, she may have given up hope?  And now some brother or sister comes to her with a message from the Lord that in the next year she is going to have a baby boy.  What’s reasonable, rational or logical about that?  Everything in the natural realm says such a thing is impossible.  There’s just no way.  How could it be, how could this happen?

The power of God is the only way.  And this power works through faith.

Paul told the church at Ephesians that our minds were futile and that they alienated us from the life of God.  We need our minds to be renewed in spirit.

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ! 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:17-24

For her to believe this good news of a coming baby in her womb she will have to join Christ on Golgatha.  Her mind will have to be crucified.

Her mind will have to be crucified to reason, to expert opinions and years of barreness, dead to the world and everything in it so that the life of Christ and his promised resurrection might be manifested in her spirit by faith.  She will have to believe the word spoken to her.  And this is the essence of faith, assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the “rhema” (that which is uttered by a living voice) of Christ.  Romans 10:17

We must receive the word by faith and this faith, which is the gift of God, comes to us in our hearing.

She will have to lay down all reason, rationality and logic and simply believe what she has heard.  In believing, she will put on the mind of Christ and therefore know his resurrected life.

And this is how prophecy always preaches Jesus Christ crucified and risen.  Whenever God speaks a prophetic word, he is always calling the hearer to die to their flesh, their carnal mind, so that in the mind of their spirit they might have the life of his son Jesus and in having the life of Christ they might know the joy and the power of his resurrection.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:8-11

Prophecy is always a call to die.  We die, that we might live in Him.

So it is, prophecy works by by grace through faith in hearing the word of Christ.  In hearing we believe, in believing our minds are crucified and by sharing in his cross we share also in his resurrected life.

Prophecy is always a call to die because it’s always a call to live.

Next: What is Prophecy’s Purpose for the Elect?

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