FIRST POSTED ON 15 NOVEMBER 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
As we wrap up our journey through the Old Testament Prophets, I want us to reflect on this highly misunderstood and misused gift - especially in this day and age of lies and deception - the gift of prophecy.
Paul tells us that prophecy is a spiritual gift that we should especially “eagerly desire.” The Greek word for prophecy (Propheteuo) used here more accurately means to “speak forth by divine inspiration” - in other words, to proclaim God’s Rhema in His Kairos. Many think prophecy is about predicting the future. While the word can carry this meaning and some prophecies do contain a predictive element, the spiritual gift of prophecy is mainly a gift of proclamation (“forth-telling”), not prediction (“fore-telling”).
Earlier, we learnt that the purpose of the Issachar B7D Fellowship was to repair, rebuild and rescue.
Here, we are further called to release God’s Word to His people - to prophesy to those whom the Lord calls by proclaiming His Rhema in His Kairos, which is NOW. It is not about predicting the future - when Christ will return - but speaking forth about the present - understanding the signs of the times and in so doing knowing what God wants us to do. As Paul put it here, the purpose of prophecy is to “strengthen” (our resolve to act), “encourage” (us to keep going when we face obstacles and trials), and “comfort” (us when we suffer because of our obedience to Jesus). It is to “edify the church.” God’s Rhema is meant to stir us into action as one Body of Christ, to preserve the faith of our brothers and sisters until Jesus returns.
We can expect ridicule and persecution - even from within the Church. Jesus said, “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also … “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 15:20, 16:33). We have already been warned. May God give us the conviction, the character, and the courage to take up the Cross of Christ and follow Him.
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