One of the things that has been on my mind lately is the question, What is prophecy? Below is the fruit of my labor.
… For the essence of prophecy is to give clear witness for Jesus.
Revelation 20:10 (NLT)
1 Corinthians 14 is a gold mine!
1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. 2 … 3 But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
1 Corinthians 14:1-4
22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
1 Corinthians 14:22-25 (NLT)
So based on this prophecy has a couple of roles in the Church:
- Encouraging and Comforting (Strengthening the entire church)
- Convicting unbelievers
- Providing a clear witness
Just incase you thought prophecy was the end all be all:
9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!
1 Corinthians 13:9 (NLT)
The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God,
yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes.
He faces hostility even in the house of God.
So just like the watchman of an old city the prophet plays a vital role safeguarding the people of God, but don’t expect them to always appreciate it.
16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:17 (NLT)
Peter said this when the Holy Spirit came. Its through the power of the Holy Spirit that this prophecy is fulfilled today. Not our own strength or imagination.
I’m sure there’s more out there, but these are the verses that jumped out at me.
* I pulled all these verses from Bible Gateway, check them out.