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“For to one is given by the Spirit … prophecy” – 1st Corinthians 12:9a, 10b

This is not the same gift as in the Old Testament.

Then, prophecy was reserved just for special holy men.  When normal people wanted to hear from God they would go to a prophet and ask him to pray and to speak for God.

Now, everyone in Christ can prophesy!

“For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” – 1st Corinthians 14:31

Prophesy now has three main purposes –

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” – 1st Corinthians 14:3

Long ago I heard a preacher Ferguson, Kentucky, say this verse means prophecy is to

Build up,
Stir up, and
Cheer up.

So how is that different from preaching?

Preaching is a (hopefully) prepared lesson from the mind and heart of a preacher whereas prophesy, like the other spiritual gifts, is given at the moment specifically for a circumstance often unknown by the speaker.

It, like the other verbal gifts, is accompanied by a strong urge to speak hard to shake but able to be ignored by the one called to give.

A wise pastor will encourage his flock to begin speaking these urgings, understand inevitable mistakes, and without condemnation teach how to recognize God’s wonderful gift of Prophesy.

– fritz

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