Revelation 19:10 (ESV) Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (NLT States – “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus or is a message confirmed by Jesus.”)
I Corinthians 14:3-4 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
The Gift of Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue. The Greek word translated Prophecy means – to speak for another. And in this case…to speak for God. Prophecy is the means whereby Christians (ordinary everyday people) speak for God or on behalf of God concerning matters important to the Father. The essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.
People who prophecy – who speak forth words given to them by the spirit of God do so to strengthen, encourage and comfort the church. Don’t confuse the spiritual gift of prophecy with that of the ministry gift of the prophet. Just because someone may prophecy, does not necessarily mean that they are a prophet. Scripture says, all can prophesy, but all can’t be a prophet.
In the ministry of a prophet, God reveals things that are to come, via the Spiritual gift of the Word of Wisdom. Prophecy however, is not a prediction of the future, via a revelation of God, nor is it to be used for guidance.
Prophecy is meant to strengthen your walk with the Lord: To encourage us to live uprightly before the Lord and to comfort us in times of unrest. In the Old Testament, Prophecy was essentially foretelling…But in the New Testament it is mainly forth telling. New Testament prophecy then is more a speaking forth what God is saying not necessarily a foretelling of coming events.
In a prophecy or a prophetic word, you may have Words of Wisdom, Words of knowledge and discerning of Spirits operational. You could even have tongues and interpretation of tongues as an element of the prophecy. But remember, prophecy always is a word spoken to strengthen, encourage and comfort the church.
Prophecy is meant to be conformational not directional. It is not your magic formula for success nor is it a form of Christian Horoscope or Fortune telling. Those are false impersonations of the gift.