“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” (1Thessalonians 5:19-22)
Paul instructs us to take prophetic utterances seriously. To “despise” means to treat with “dismissive disdain.”1 In 1Corinthians 14:31, Paul wrote, “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted.” He spoke, not about utterances of official authoritative prophets, but about prophetic utterances that could be given by any member of the congregation.
Today many are confused about the meaning of the term “prophecy” as it was used in the 1st century church, and what, if anything, it is in the church today. Some assume that prophesies were spontaneous, “ecstatic utterances” caused by the Holy Spirit. Some, who hold this view, believe that these utterances have ceased. Others hold the same view, but believe that these ecstatic utterances are also for the church today. Still others believe that prophecy in the first century was the Holy Spirit giving inspired revelation that was necessary to fill in the gap caused by the incomplete canon of the New Testament. Those who hold this latter view generally say that all prophecy has ceased.2
Here is what I believe: that prophecy, as addressed by the passages above, is to proclaim valid implications and applications of authoritative Scripture. Under the New Covenant, every redeemed child of God has the Holy Spirit, and therefore may prophesy. This is an implication of Peter's citation of Joel in Acts 2:17—rather than the Holy Spirit only coming upon certain persons as under the Old Covenant, He indwells every true New Covenant believer. This is why they “may all prophesy” as Paul wrote.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer by Bob DeWaay
In this article by Pastor Bob DeWaay, he teaches about the prophetic authority given to each believer by the Holy Spirit to speak God's word from the scriptures. Following is an excerpt from the message. Please go to the link to read the entire article.