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THE GIFT OF PROPHECY



(ACTS 21:9-11) 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. 10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way, the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”


IN THE EARLY CHURCH, THE GIFT OF PROPHECY WAS NOT UNCOMMON. AS PETER HAD DECLARED AT PENTECOST, THE GIFT OF PROPHECY WAS ONE OF THE RESULTS OF THE OUTPOURING OF GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT (ACTS 2:17-21). THE BOOK OF ACTS NAMES A FEW CHRISTIAN PROPHETS (ACTS 11:27-28). ONE OF THE PROPHETS WAS AGABUS, WHOSE FUNCTION WAS SIMILAR TO THAT OF AN OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET, PERFORMING SYMBOLIC ACTS (ACTS 21:10-11; ISA 20:2-6) AND PREDICTING EVENTS TO COME (ACTS 11:28).

PHILIP THE EVANGELIST WAS THE FATHER OF FOUR YOUNG WOMEN WHO "HAD THE GIFT OF PROPHECY". THE APOSTLE PAUL ALS ACKNOWLEDGED THE PROPHETIC GIFT OF SOME CHRISTIAN WOMEN (1 CHR.11:5). IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, MOST PROPHETS WERE MEN, BUT SEVERAL WOMEN ARE DESCRIBED AS PROPHETS: MIRIAM (EXOD.15:20), DEBORAH (JUDG 4:4), AND HULDAH (2 KINGS 22:14-20). IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE GIFT OF PROPHECY IS GIVEN TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, AND BOTH YOUNG AND OLD, AS PETER SIGNALED IN HIS SERMON AT PENTECOST (ACTS 2:17-18).

ALTHOUGH PROPHECY SOMETIMES INVOLVES FORETELLING THE FUTURE (ACTS 20:23; ROM 9:23-26), AT ITS CORE PROPHECY IS PROCLAIMING GOD'S WORD BY PREACHING, EXHORTING AND EXPLAINING THE WILL OF GOD (REV 19:10). THE GIFT OF PROPHECY IS CLEARLY MENTIONED IN 1 Corinthian AND EPHESIANS AS ONE OF THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OF CHRIST TO THE CHURCH (1 COR 12:4-11)IT IS TO BE USED FOR THE BENEFIT OF BELIEVERS (1 COR 14:22).

PROPHECY IS ALWAYS IN NEED OF TESTING (1 THES 5:19-21), AND THE CHURCH IS STRONGLY WARNED AGAINST FALSE PROPHETS (REV 2:20-23). WHEN USED FAITHFULLY AND IN SUBMISSION TO GOD'S WORD AND HIS SPIRIT, COURAGEOUS PROCLAMATION OF GOD'S TRUTH HELPS THE CHURCH TO DETERMINE WHAT GOD'S WILL IS AND INSPIRES GOD'S PEOPLE TO DO IT.

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