The debate about prophecy
There are many who believe that prophecy no longer takes place and that the gift of prophecy, among other gifts that are clearly outlined for YHWH’s people for all time, are not for today. However, you would find no real evidence for this variation from scripture. YHWH, the Elohim of Hosts moves on His servants to help others in His service. However, this isn’t about lining up for soothing sayings, but rather about pointing to the divine fence that scripture is! A prophet always calls people to YHWH and the purpose of the Messiah, right teaching and living. If you are doing this, you are a prophet of the Most High YHWH. (“YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“; “Disciples of Messiah: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “Holy Spirit 101“)
1 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is inspired of Elohim, which the Apostle relates to the Torah and the Prophets (the “Old Testament”). Consequently, the operations of YHWH’s Spirit that were in operation in all scripture are still valid and capable of being in operation today in Elohim’s gathering of people or separately as a voice in the wilderness to the world. The gifts of His Spirit, including prophecy, should be in abundance in YHWH’s body of believers. As a Christian looks forward, the fruits of the body of believers in a particular place will clearly be in evidence and those fruits can be judged by any disciple that has discernment. How a particular religious persuasion, denomination or person feels about scripture is not negotiable. Bible truth is clearly evident, not cleverly concocted or grounded in paganism or humanism. The fact is, there is a body of scripture that not only supports, but outlines prophecy for all time. (For example, see 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14, 1 Peter 1:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 5:1; “Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“; “Consenting to Fables of Men“)
Since Christians must readily acknowledge that all scripture is inspired of YHWH, a Christian cannot simply throw away what he or she doesn’t like or feel comfortable with. Christians cannot depend on old organized conventions that ordained church law from back in the 3rd or 17th century and use this today with blind commitment as if it were some sort of security blanket. The light has grown ever brighter for those that seek Bible truth. The average man has access to the original text of scripture. Truth-seeking disciples understand more now than during eras of oppression from the past. We cannot assume that what the Roman Emperor Constantine ordained, what the Catholic Church did in early times, or what professed reformers did through the ages is appropriate and in line with scripture. (“Ongoing Corruption of Christianity“; “Religion, Politics, Power & Financial Corruption“; “Bible Prophecy and the Rise of the Corporation“)
We cannot assume that what was good for our Christian forefathers during the Dark Ages and through the Renaissance into the Inquisition is enough for Christians for all time. Any tradition that breaks with scripture, no matter how noble it may appear, is wrong in YHWH’s sight. Any convention or church law that conflicts with scripture is not justifiable and is in error. Organized Christian religion at large has a choice: either believe and accept what the scriptures say and accept them in their entirety or throw the scriptures away. You can’t pick and choose. Yet, this is exactly what most professed leaders of Christianity do. The reality is that there is no in-between. You are on YHWH’s side or you aren’t. The edge of judgment is quite small. The choice is yours to make, built on your belief and continued trust. (“Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“; “A Branch of the Vine through Trust“; “Truth About the Modern Concept of Pastor“)
What is prophecy?
The largest problem that we have today is that over the last 2000 years, the real meaning of prophecy has been blurred and corrupted. Many Christians of today have come to think of prophets as old guys with white beards who foretold future events, especially regarding apocalyptic events such as those that are considered in the book of Revelation.
Pagan “prophecy and soothsaying” is big business in the world, just as it was in ancient times. Some people would be hard pressed to tell the difference from a prophet, a fortune teller or a psychic and could not tell you the difference. Fortune tellers and psychics are clearly shown in scripture as demonically inspired, as practicing witchcraft, which scripture clearly forbids. All of this is by the design of the devil to cloud divine prophecy and to bring falsehood into disciples of the Messiah. Divine prophecy comes from YHWH alone through the Holy Spirit and never conflicts with the scriptures. (“YHWH’s Revolution“; “Beware of False Teachers & Disciples“; “What Does Your Church Teach About Satan the Destroyer?“)
Prophecy is serious business and man doesn’t control it, but receives it from YHWH. However, prophecy in the flesh can be manipulated or made up to fit circumstances by unscrupulous false prophets. Words of ‘prophecy’ can be used to tickle the ears when the prophetic well runs dry. Have you seen such a thing by proclaimed ‘mainstream’ Christian prophets on the television? Any such manipulation is in spiritual error, defined by scripture as witchcraft. You don’t want to be associated with witchcraft do you? (“The Antichrist & the War on Reality“; “The Reality of the Antichrist“; “Health in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Has Science Gone Too Far?“)
Because some professed prophets have allowed their flesh to get in the way or because of the risk of false prophets, many have decided that prophecy is unreliable and have summarily dismissed the gift of prophecy outlined by the Apostle Paul. These people have mislabeled prophecy or decided that prophecy is a slippery slope not to be encouraged or given credence to. Most Christians don’t operate as a prophet, pointing to YHWH’s track of righteousness. All in all, Christian prophecy in general is often misunderstood and has been given a black eye by many.
What is divine prophecy for?
While many prophets of old and some prophets today speak about future events to come, this is not the primary use of the gift of prophecy. The gift of prophecy is to edify, to inform, to encourage as the prophet points to the fence of scripture that YHWH has provided. This is the pattern for prophecy. Nowhere does scripture teach that prophecy always foretells the future. Some prophecy may deal with future events, but is always solidly grounded in scripture and right teaching. Prophecy is YHWH communicating with man through man, but most directly through already established scripture. The focus is always on the purpose of the Messiah and the Word of YHWH in scripture, not on the authority of a person. A prophetic utterance is Spirit-inspired through a yielded servant that does not conflict with scripture. A prophetic word points to the fence of scripture that has already been provided. (“Gifts of the Spirit & Speaking in Tongues“; “Disciples of Messiah & the Authority of Man“; “Disciple: The Pattern of Your Life“)
Paul tells us he wishes we all would prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:5) because it builds up the whole church. Prophecy is used to get the attention of believers and promote them to action for Elohim, to serve as a warning or to serve as confirmation of circumstances in a disciple’s personal life. The prophet should be a confirming and compelling force in YHWH’s organization, encouraging disciples to do what they ought to according to scripture. Prophecy never stands alone apart from scripture. Prophecy is always in line with scripture and is in line with what we know of YHWH’s Will. Prophecy has a loving purpose based on what Yahshua [Jesus] did while He was here and what He instructed His disciples to do. (“Your Purpose in the Body of Messiah“; “Do You Give Leftovers to Messiah?“; “Are You a Christian First or Last?“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“)
Prophecy can steer a disciple away from disaster, but is not done to humiliate in front of a body of people when a person needs personal help. Prophecy seeks to build up, to point to YHWH’s instruction. Unloving and disrespectful prophecy in public should be considered suspect. So should prophecy that panders and caters. Spiritual maturity and discernment are always required. Prayer is vital and should be a part of prophecy in the gathering of disciples. 1 Corinthians 14:32 shows us a check and balance system for the gifts of the Spirit. Scripture tells us that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (of scripture), for Elohim is not a Elohim of confusion but of peace. The prophet has the ability to speak or not, even when the Holy Spirit has directed him. However, the prophet does not have the ability to speak for YHWH at his own discretion apart from Him. Have you ever seen a prophet wait in silence for the Holy Spirit or is prophecy a ploy for excitement and airtime? (“Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)
Prophecy is part of our commission as a body.
The reality is this: prophecy has always been a vital part of scripture and today is no exception. Prophecy is an ongoing part of living as a trusting disciple of Messiah today. Prophecy is vital to the body of disciples. Yahshua [Jesus] commissioned the disciples to go out and teach the good news, which meets the definition of prophecy. For those that receive the Holy Spirit’s direction, prophecy has to be a direct pipeline from YHWH to His servants. It is illumination that assists with teaching for edification, promoting discernment while showing discernment and spiritual maturity. It allows disciples to receive directions that are personally relevant to our own lives, sometimes in intimate detail as the Holy Spirit directs. It is never in conflict with scripture, is in line with the Father’s love and always driven by YHWH’s Word from scripture. Even better, you have a direct line to the Holy Spirit when you don’t reject Him. (“Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“; “Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“)
Brief examples of prophecy
Prophecy is dealt with more than 600 times in scripture. Some modest examples follow: From the moment the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of a child that would come from YHWH, she did not fully understand. In that day, many young Jewish girls were claiming divine birth as an excuse for personal promiscuity. This dishonesty was a way of pretending to fulfill prophecy. Despite this, Mary was entirely willing to do what YHWH asked. Elohim sent her to her relative Elizabeth, who was formerly barren, now six months pregnant with John. After Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby John leaped for joy and it was prophesied that Yahshua [Jesus] would be born of Mary and would bless the world. What Mary spoke in song was prophecy. (Luke 1:46-55, prophecy in Isaiah 53)
In the same way, Hannah, formerly barren, sang the same song as Mary did and gave birth to a child. The child, Samuel was not hers to keep, but had been dedicated to YHWH as Hannah had promised. Samuel grew up and served in the temple of YHWH. Hannah’s prayer in song was prophetic to Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. Prophecy is giving the believer an understanding of life and additional discernment as Father YHWH directs. Hannah proclaimed the future and likewise, Mary did the same. (1 Samuel 2:1-10) The births of all three mothers, Hannah, Elizabeth and Mary were prophetic to the birth of Yashua [Jesus].
Prophecy is not reserved only for these people only, but is a gift of the Spirit that is active today. YHWH is the same today as yesterday. All of these mothers were willing to do YHWH’s Will. When you are willing to follow through with your Heavenly Father and growing in spiritual maturity, you can be used mightily as a prophet, always pointing to the YHWH’s Will and purpose. The nation of Israel had cried out to YHWH to be delivered from oppression. The Pharoah had made a decree that because the Hebrews of Egypt were so numerous, the baby boys were to be killed.
Moses was found in the Nile River by Pharoah’s daughter after he had been placed there by his mother in a raft. When the Pharoah’s daughter found Moses, Moses’ sister was nearby because she had followed the raft as it floated down the Nile. The Pharoah’s daughter pitied and loved Moses. Because of his sister’s boldness, Moses was taken to his real mother when young and then taken to his adopted mother and taught as an Egyptian. As a man, Moses had fled on his own from Egypt because he had murdered a guard to protect a Hebrew slave. Moses went through the wilderness to live in a new land.
He was definitely a hesitant hero at first. He did not believe in himself and he resisted YHWH. Moses sighted his unworthiness, his fear of people and his distrust of others. He had speech difficulties, and had acted as a coward and murderer. Yet, with YHWH’s help and the help of his brother, Moses led Israel up to the Promised Land. Moses was a type of Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah as deliverer for Elohim’s people. The Most High doesn’t need to you to be perfect in order for Him to use you for His Perfect Will. Out of your imperfection, YHWH wants you to be willing to serve Him and to recognize personal gifts as you grow spiritually.
The accountability of prophecy
Desire the gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, used for strengthening, encouragement and guidance. Prophecy that is from YHWH does not glorify the flesh. It encourages discernment and spiritual maturity. If you have a dream or vision, see if it lines up with the directions and warnings in Jeremiah 23. If you decide to share it, tell the hearers that it is your dream or vision and let the hearers judge it as well. The most important matter that what a prophet says fits within the context of scripture. Everyone must submit themselves to YHWH’s authority. (“The Role of Authority in Your Life“; “Authority: The Real Meaning of Romans 13“; “Disciple: The Bible & Higher Authority“)
Do not quickly prejudge a prophecy that does not conflict with scripture, even when you don’t fully understand or appreciate it. Many events operate on YHWH’s time, which can be a while and our understanding is human. Time will bear out prophecy. However, when anything is in question, there is no stronger helper than prayer and Bible study. (“Understanding Sin“)
It is helpful to remember that the motive for false prophecy is always rooted in pride and this prideful attitude often shows. However, do not mistake pride for a measure of confidence. Being prophetic for the cause of the Messiah requires boldness. A prophet may get caught up in the limelight of being able to speak through the Holy Spirit. Elevating themselves to a position of ‘prophet’ can be dangerous, not only for them but for the people who listen to them. False prophecy angers YHWH and misleads. Nobody that truly loves YHWH or appreciates the sacrifice of the Messiah wants to be a false prophet. (“The Politics of Pride“; “The Kingdom of YHWH and the Drive for Self-Importance“)
Personal relationship with the Father
Having a personal relationship and Bible knowledge with the Father through the Holy Spirit is vital to understanding prophecy. YHWH’s people perish for the lack of knowledge. His people need to seek YHWH, to seek the meat of scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister while acting prayerfully and practicing discernment. Discernment is required on the part of believers. This discernment is obtained simply by living in YHWH’s Word, bathed in it and walking it out every day. Knowing the voice of Elohim in your life through the Holy Spirit is essential. Having an intimate relationship with YHWH and accurate knowledge of the Bible, building up the new man in Messiah through the Holy Spirit is vital to spiritual growth that pleases the Father. This is about both teaching and learning. Your personal relationship with YHWH is for you, directing your life in the Word.