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Series Contents
Series Theme: The Gifts of the Spirit


















1. The Gift

2. Pauls 1 Cor 14 teaching

3. In the Local Church






















1. The Gift

2. Pauls 1 Cor 14 teaching

3. In the Local Church



Title:   8. The Gift of Prophecy


A Series that considers the Gifts given by the Holy Spirit to Believers


This page is one of a number that seeks to provide basic study material for the Christian who wishes to see what the Bible says about the gifts of the Spirit.

We follow the 'standard' pattern for these pages of defining the gift, then seeing it in the Old Testament, in Jesus' ministry and then in the Acts. We then move on to more general descriptions of the workings of prophecy in the local church.

Please remember these are only very basic notes.



1. The Gift

Prophecy Definition:  a supernatural word from God expressing His heart for a person or situation either for the present or for the future.

Purpose of prophecy:

  •  To reveal the heart of God.
  •  To build, encourage and bless the church.
  •  To warn the world.

Examples of it happening in the O.T.:

  •  Because the examples are so numerous in the Old Testament, simply note that every time God spoke and expressed His will, that was prophecy!

Examples in Jesus' Ministry:

  •  Prophesying his resurrection Jn 2:19
  •  Kingdom given to the gentiles Mt 21:43
  •  Signs of the end Mt 24:4-44

Examples of it happening in Acts:

  •  Ananias instructed about Saul 9:15,16
  •  Agabus foretells a famine 11:28
  •  Saul & Barnabus set apart 13:2
  •  Paul guided to Macedonia by vision 16:9
  •  Paul encouraged in vision in Corinth 18:9,10



2. Paul's Teaching in 1 Cor 14

  •  Eagerly desire prophecy v.1,39
  •  Prophecy strengthens, encourages, comforts v.3
  •  Prophecy builds up the church v.4
  •  Paul wanted all to prophesy v.5
  •  Prophecy is a sign for believers v.22
  •  Prophecy can lead unbelievers to Christ v.24
  •  In a meeting only 2 or 3 prophets should prophesy at a time (weighty words) v.29
  •  Their words are to be weighed by others with gift v.29,32



3. The Workings of Prophecy in the Local Church

How might prophecy come?

  •  Dreams & visions.
  •  Commonplace events / unusual happenings.
  •  Quiet whisper into the spirit
    •  perhaps as a picture conveying a meaning
    •  perhaps as a distinct ‘word'.

What does it need to bring prophecy?

  •  A ear that is open to God.
  •  A heart that is filled with Scripture.
  •  Faith to respond and bring it.

What does it need to receive prophecy?

  •  Faith to believe it.
  •  Obedience to respond to it.
  •  Wisdom to understand it.
  •  Patience to await its fulfilment.
  •  Love to be secure in it.

Features of prophecy:

  •  It is only partial - God doesn't say it all in one go.
  •  It is progressive - God's purposes unfold over years.
  •  It is often conditional - needs our response of faith.
  •  It frequently has a hidden process involved.

Checks for prophecy:

  •  Check it against Scripture.
  •  Never rely just on a single prophecy for major change.
  •  Remember God loves you.


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