Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV
Do you desire spiritual gifts? Paul asked us to desire prophecy. It’s not for ourselves but for others. A prophetic gift is one where you are edifying, exhorting and comforting the saints. It can be directed at a whole church or specific individuals. It is a supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue.
The gift of prophecy has five purposes:
- Edify – it builds, strengthens and makes Christians more effective for the Kingdom. 1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesied speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
- Exhorts – it encourages, motivates and stimulates Christians. 1 Corinthians 14:3
- Comforts – it cheers up and comforts Christians when they are discouraged or brought under condemnation by Satan. 1 Corinthians 14:3
- Ordains and sends – through prophetic words Christians are given special gifts, ministries, assignments and are then sent forth by the Holy Spirit.
- Ministers to Unbelievers – when unbelievers are present in the church the Holy Spirit may minister to them through prophecy.
We previously went over the gift of interpretation and mentioned the first 3 purposes in that lesson. We will expand on the last 2 briefly.
Ordains and sends:
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1 Timothy 4:14 KJV
The apostle Paul was reminding Timothy that he received the gifts of the Holy Spirit when the elders of the church laid hands on Timothy and prayed for him. The baptism of the Holy Spirit along with other gifts that are specific to the person laying hands can be transferred to the next person.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. ~ Acts 13:2 KJV
The Lord calls us to ministry and he assigns specific tasks for us to accomplish for the Kingdom. He has equipped us through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to accomplish those assignments.
Ministers to Unbelievers:
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: (25) And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 KJV
When a person is prophesying in church and an unbeliever comes in he or she may hear the secrets of his/her heart revealed and it would cause them to worship God realizing that no one could have known that information other than God. It would be a sign to the unbeliever that God is present. Many unbelievers have been saved in this manner. At times it may not be from someone who is in the pulpit. It could happen from someone sitting next to the person or a nearby chair or pew. God is amazing and he knows ways to reach the lost when we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow him to speak through us when we pray.