PROPHECY AND MAP READING
What do they have in common?
GPS and satellite technology abounds. But, do you still read maps to find your way?
Have you ever gotten lost trying to follow a map?
Yeah. Me, too. It seems you have to understand the purpose of all the colored, dotted, double and broken lines and legends.
This set me thinking about God and His Word. We hear about Prophecy and Spiritual Gifts. I wonder if we are only getting part of the picture there, too?
For example, there general disagreement about some of the Spiritual Gifts.
Some denominations say certain of the Gifts have ceased. Some denominations say otherwise. And some denominations or sects have even created or invented some 'spiritual gifts' not seen or identified as Spiritual Gifts in the New Testament, which is the time when God imparted and empowered Believers with these Gifts.
It seems like the two Gifts of special interest (or controversy) are Speaking in Tongues and Prophecy.
The Apostle Paul says he wishes we all would speak in tongues but tongues edifies only the speaker unless tongues are interpreted
by way of revelation or
of knowledge or
of prophecy or
However, Paul insists that Prophecy edifies the entire church and that Prophecy is the more desired Gift. (1 Corinthians 14)
It is also noteworthy that the twenty-five percent of the Bible is Prophetic. That is to say that 25% of the verses in the Bible contain prophecy with the remaining 31,124 verses of the Bible supporting the 8,352 prophetic verses.
"So what?" you might be asking. Well, here is what:
I hear many people speak publicly in "tongues" and some even with "interpretations", but I cannot remember those 'tongues' given "by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching" as the Bible teaches (1 Corinthians 14:6).
So, as entertaining or emotionally charged as the act might be, I have to cast that in light of what Scriptures say. Tongues given in the Assembly must be given "by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching"
And, here is "so what" else:
I cannot remember a time when I have ever heard a Believer, a Pastor, or an Evangelist stand up in the congregation and boldly proclaim "Thus saith the Lord..." and give a Prophecy.
So, I am wondering and thinking.
What exactly is a Prophet and Prophecy (Biblically speaking)? There are many examples of a Prophet and prophecy in the Bible, but, Read this from Strong's Bible concordance:
A PROPHET (Taken from Strong's Bible concordance):
1) in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things
2) one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly
declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation
3) the OT prophets, having foretold the kingdom, deeds and death, of Jesus the Messiah.
4) of the illustrious prophet, the Jews expected before the advent of the Messiah
5) of men filled with the Spirit of God, who by God’s authority and command in words of weight pleads the cause of God and urges salvation of men
6) they discerned and did what is best for the Christian cause, foretelling certain future events. (#Ac 11:27)
7) in the religious assemblies of the Christians, they were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak, having power to instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, and stimulate, their hearers
1) to prophesy, to be a prophet, speak forth by divine inspirations, to predict
1a) to prophesy
1b) with the idea of foretelling future events pertaining esp. to the kingdom of God
1c) to utter forth, declare, a thing which can only be known by divine revelation
1d) to break forth under sudden impulse in lofty discourse or praise of the divine counsels
1d1) under like prompting, to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others
1e) to act as a prophet, discharge the prophetic office
You see, the Bible IS God's Word. And, it is prophetic.
The Bible is also a written record of the times and history of the Hebrew and Jewish people. The Bible contains instruction in righteousness and holiness, descriptions of people and places and descriptions of God. The Bible is the account of God’s action in the world, and his purpose with all creation.
However, and most important is that the Bible is God's Word. God's Prophetic Word. His Breath. The Bible must be read as God's Prophetic Word over this world, its history and its inhabitants OR IT IS REDUCED TO NOTHING MORE THAN A HISTORY BOOK, A BOOK OF REGLIGION AND RELIGOUS THOUGHT, DESCRIPTIONS OF PEOPLE AND OF GOD, DOCTRINES AND GOD'S ACTION AND PURPOSES.
THE BIBLE IS MORE THAN SUFFICIENT
THE BIBLE IS GOD'S PROPHETIC WORD
THE BIBLE IS "FORTH-TELLING"
THE BIBLE IS "FORETELLING"
THE BIBLE IS CREATIVE
THE BIBLE IS CAUSATIVE
THE BIBLE IS POWERFUL TO PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
THE BIBLE PENETRATES TO DIVIDING SOUL AND SPIRIT
THE BIBLE DIVIDES JOINTS AND MARROW
THE BIBLE JUDGES THOUGHTS AND ATTITUDES OF THE HEART
How useful would it be to have God or a prophet of God speak The Word of God, The Prophetic Truth of God into your life, whether as foretelling or by applying Bible Truths into your or my life? We could adjust our life to take maximum advantage of what God has prepared ahead of time for us.
God says He has prepared His Works ahead of time for us to walk in them. This is His Will and His Way.
SO LET'S DO THIS. Let's you and I do this.
In a crude way, I would say let's stop groveling and begging and wondering if God is hearing our prayers or if He will answer our prayers.
He knows what we need even before we ask of Him. (Matthew 6:8)
Know the Word. Pray to hear from God and to do His Will, His Way, found in His Word.
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