What Is the Gift of Prophecy?

By definition, prophecy means the “knowledge of the future derived from a divine source.” In the biblical sense, the gift of prophecy always comes from God. He is the all-knowing Creator who gives us wisdom, insight, and knowledge that we can share with others. 

The Assignment That Comes with the Gift of Prophecy

A prophet’s assignment is to receive a message from the Lord and deliver it to a group or to individuals. The intention is always to bring life and speak about God’s agenda, not one’s own.  

Even if a message is troubling, a prophet tells the people so that they can repent and turn back to God, coming into alignment with what He is saying. When we follow the instruction of God, it always brings life.  

A prophet always speaks under the inspiration of God, providing a message of His agenda and intentions. A prophet doesn’t look at the conditions or circumstances; he or she listens to what the Holy Spirit is saying about those circumstances. 

The Importance of the Gift of Prophecy

Ephesians 2:19-20 tells us the importance of the gift of prophecy…

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” (emphasis added)

Paul was writing to the Ephesians, telling them that the foundation of the Body of Christ is built upon the prophets.

Second Chronicles 20:20 preludes the point…

“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’” (emphasis added)

2 Key Purposes of the Gift of Prophecy

Amos 3:7 gives insight into the purpose of the gift of prophecy….

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” (emphasis added)

This passage illustrates how God reveals His agenda and intentions through His servants the prophets. Therefore, the gift of prophecy is given to a servant of God so that he or she can speak of God’s plans.

The key purposes of the gift of prophecy are…

  1. To uplift and encourage someone 
  2. To destroy the plans of the enemy

…both with the intention of bringing glory to God. 

You may be asking, “What are the plans of God?” There are a number of verses that speak to the plans of God.

  • “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”—Jeremiah 29:11 (emphasis added)
  • Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’”—1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (emphasis added)

The Bible also tells us to be on guard because the enemy’s plans are always coming against the plans of God.

  • “’The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.’”—John 10:10
  • “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”—1 Peter 5:8

A Warning about False Prophets

If a prophecy comes to you, receive it. Never declare a prophetic message that is not about the agenda of God or that hasn’t been given to you by the Holy Spirit. If the agenda of God doesn’t come to you, you may be setting yourself up to be a false prophet.

  • “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.’”—Jeremiah 23:16
  • “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”—1 John 4:1-6

Bible Verses about the Gift of Prophecy

  • “’I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.’”—Deuteronomy 18:18
  • “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”—2 Peter 1:20-21
  • “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”—1 Corinthians 14:1

Summary

The gift of prophecy is speaking under the inspiration of God, providing a message of His agenda and intentions. Therefore, the spiritual gift is important to the Body of Christ.

A prophet doesn’t look at the conditions or circumstances; he or she listens to what the Holy Spirit is saying about those circumstances.

The purposes of the spiritual gift of prophecy are to uplift and encourage someone and to destroy the plans of the enemy—both bringing glory to God.

The Bible warns against false prophets, as they speak on their own accord, not of God’s agenda.

If you would like to know more about the gift of prophecy and  the way to activate this spiritual gift, then download my FREE guide—Activate Your Prophetic Calling—HERE!

 

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How Do You Activate Your Prophetic Calling?

Activating your prophetic calling releases many blessings in your life and in the lives of others.