Encouragement Through Prophecy
By: David Martin
We are talking about the vocal gifts. We have looked at tongues and interpretation of tongues. Now we are going into prophecy. Prophecy is like tongues and interpretation of tongues. It is a public assembly gift, though it can happen anytime. When two or three people are gathered together this gift could operate on the inside of you. This gift is highly encouraged by the Apostle Paul, who is excited about it because it is an edifying gift. It builds up and strengthens, and it is a great way to reach an unbeliever because God will give you a word to minister to somebody that will speak right to their problem, right to their circumstance.
The operation of the gift is not the same as what a prophet would use. Often when people think of a prophet, it is assumed their gift is prophecy, but in reality a prophet is going to work with a word of wisdom as a primary gift because that sees into the future.
In contrast, the gift of prophecy is for edification, exhortation and comfort. This gift is biblically designed to be an encouragement and not meant to be judgmental or critical. Sometimes people let their personal opinion get involved and they say something that is judgmental or critical. I don’t believe that’s within the nature and the character of God within the operation of prophecy. There are times you need to be wise and discerning and bring correction, but this gift is not the gift that does that.
First Corinthians 14:1 says, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” Verse 2, “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man but to God; for no one understands, but in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” When you are speaking in a heavenly language, there’s not going to be anyone that’s going to understand, but when you are speaking under the unction with the gift of tongues there will be somebody that either understands the language, because the gift is in the hearing, or somebody present has the gift of interpretation of the tongue. Verse 3, “But the one who prophesies speaks to men for edification, for exhortation and comfort. But the one who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but to one who prophesies edifies the congregation.”
The Bible tells us that when we pray in our prayer language, we’re building up our most holy faith, but when God uses you to give a message by prophecy, you are going to build up others. That’s a major difference between tongues and prophecy.
There is a two-fold work of the Holy Spirit. His first operation is to get you born again. After the resurrection of Yeshua, when He appeared to the disciples, John 20:22 says “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” That is when they were born again. Their spirits were renewed. Yeshua then told them to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Before the crucifixion, John 7:37-39 recalls that Yeshua had promised the Holy Spirit would come, and it would be like rivers coming out of their belly. But they weren’t able to receive it yet because they were not born again at that time.
This river came on Pentecost. It is the Spirit of life sent by God to mankind, and it operates through love, especially through the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.