The prophetic has been a part of our human experience since time immemorial. I’ve had some prophetic experiences in my life, and they’ve been increasing, so I made a point of finding out more about prophecy this past year.
I’ve had events or circumstances in life where I knew beforehand what would happen. It was just a secret, intuitive side of me I couldn’t put my finger on. I understood that Joseph had a prophetic dream, that Jesus’ birth was prophesied thru out the bible, but I also listened to people describe how God spoke to them in a time of danger or huge decision in life and God’s Spirit gave them a word or caused them to intercede in prayer. Many parents exhibit that ‘6th sense’ re: their children.
Many centuries ago the Bible predicted Christ would be born, would save us and be our King. God helped Joseph survive by giving him a prophetic image of his destiny thru a dream. David was a prophetic leader for Israel, not just Samuel. He’d ask God for direction often, and many of his Psalms are full of the prophetic. God’s always been working in peoples lives thru the ages, preparing us for certain events, both personally and as nations, giving us destinies, protecting us in danger, providing us with a way out of our troubles.
For years I mainly heard the term prophecy refer to the many scriptures foretelling Jesus birth, but prophecies have also been given re: the return of the Jews to Israel or the Second Coming of Christ & End Times. I’ve listened to many on these subjects, both in churches and on TV or read books. I’ve listened to Perry Stone unravel scripture on the End Times and John Hagee share on the revival of Israel.
So, there’s prophecy about people groups, i.e. the Jews, Gentiles, etc There’s prophecy about God’s Son. Prophecy about God’s plan for redemption to all men …. and prophecy for individuals. We understand prophecy in the natural world many times but we don’t think of it as important to us as an individuals many times. It was very important to me to understand what was going on in my life since Marc was taken away so early and suddenly. And once I started investigating the personal side of prophecy the more it triggered memories about my early life and how I’d had experiences where I felt God was sharing about my life direction and giving me a word of knowledge about my identity in His Kingdom. I realized my early life had indications of my life as it is now, my own special calling that is different from my family, others.
Kenneth E. Hagin shares in his book ‘How You Can Be Led By The Spirit Of God’ that there’s, 1) The gift of prophecy; which we all can have as believers, and 2) The ministry of prophecy. He also shares about the use of ‘words of knowledge’, ‘words of wisdom’ and the ‘discerning of spirits’.
In his chapter called ‘Guidance Through Prophecy’, he states that while all can operate in the gift of prophecy …. not all are called to be a prophetic minister. The gift of prophecy operates to ‘edify, exhort and comfort’. The gift doesn’t use ‘foretelling, prediction. The ministry of a prophet however is another issue, and it uses foretelling, prediction thru ‘revelation gifts’, as well as operating with words of wisdom & knowledge, and/or the discerning of spirits. The prophetic operates he says, in the tongue of our everyday language, not in an unknown tongue.
I’ve been a part of some prophetic ministries this last year, it was an adventure to seek knowledge in that spiritual realm but I really needed answers for my life. Some ministries I felt were totally credible, very balanced in their gifting and personal life, demonstrating love and healing towards others. Some I felt were lop-sided, trying to teach a gift without any training or understanding rather than share God’s encouragement and comfort. Some you can tell are going off the deep end stressing signs all the time, making huge promises they can’t fulfill or asking for money too much.
One thing Hagin warns of alot is not to look for signs and wonders as your normal prophetic experience. He says not to keep asking for ‘voices’ as the dominant factor in our faith walk. Some people are so confused about what’s the voice of God, the voice of their flesh and the voice of the enemy. Hagin says it’s not scriptural to keep pressing for voices as it can ‘ruin’ people. Some people cue their fleshly understanding of a faulty spirit in someone to put someone down but that’s not scriptural he says. He wrote that Jesus visited him and told him to test the word given him from others by checking in his spirit if it confirmed what God was already working. If it seems right then accept the prophecy, if it doesn’t seem to answer what God’s been directing you to do, reject it.
He says in the chapter not to build your life on prophecy, but let the Word of God be your main guide! He said, ‘let the other things be secondary, and put the Word first.’ I love the simplicity with which he writes. He’s lived his words out and is a tested Christian apologist, faith teacher.
I don’t know anyone in my everyday life who understands prophecy, perhaps this may edify you as God speaks to you in these troubling times. It’s a crazy world out there with all kinds of forces, spirits vying for our attention in the spirit realm. Real godly prophecy doesn’t rely on any crystal ball, props or huge exchanges of money. We don’t need to see a visual trick while we wait and pray for answers to our hearts requests. Big miracles are once in awhile, Hagin says, but the little gifts of the spirit of prophecy operate daily in our spirits if we listen to Him and keep His Word in our hearts.