What Is Biblical Prophecy

biblical prophecy

According to the Oxford Advanced Dictionary, a prophecy simply means the knowledge of the future from a divine source. In other words, a prophecy speaks about what will come to pass. When someone releases a biblical prophecy, they are words spoken that were inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit Inspired Biblical Prophecy

When you are trying to understand biblical prophecy, it is important to recognize that it is the Holy Spirit who inspires it.

What does that mean?

The Root of the Word ‘Inspired’

First, let’s understand the root meaning of the word inspired. 

In Hebrew, the word inspired means breath, wind, or spirit. In the English language, we tend to use abstract concepts in descriptions. But in Hebrew, they used concrete illustrations, ones that could be clearly defined. 

Therefore, for biblical prophecy to be inspired, according to the Hebraic understanding, it would have felt like “breath or wind” being spoken by the Spirit of God. 

In Greek, the word inspired breathed, inhaled, moved, or communicated by divine influence. This gives further depth to the meaning of biblical prophecy. 

If you take these two meanings and line them up with the truth of scripture, you will find a deep prophetic significance illustrated in:

2 Timothy 3:16-17…

  • “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

1 Corinthians 14:1…

  • “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”

This tells us that biblical prophecy is Holy Spirit inspired, God-breathed, and useful for teaching and correcting. When Believers seek the gift of biblical prophecy, they will receive it in order to do a good work. 

Many people want to know if prophets can predict the future. As we can see, a biblical prophecy is not a prediction, but rather inspired words of the Holy Spirit released in order to fulfill 1 Corinthians 14:3…

  • “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging, and comfort.” 

The Word English Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 14:3 says this, “But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation, and consolation.” 

Edification and exhortation may be better words to use here, as they describe urging someone with instruction to do something to improve or move forward. 

Responding to Biblical Prophecy

Biblical Prophecy | Words of Warning

Biblical prophecy isn’t just about releasing words that are pleasant to the ear, but rather if they are a word of warning the intent is to get the attention those listening.

Responding to a Biblical Prophecy that Warns

It is then that a spiritual battle plan can be implemented to cut off the assignment of the enemy. If a prophecy is released that the enemy plans to bring destruction, you need to stop and pray for this assignment to be canceled. 

God wants to bring you safety. Therefore, after canceling the destructive assignment, come into agreement with God’s promises of safety, protection, and provision.  

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”—2 Thessalonians 3:3

Biblical Prophecy | Words of Encouragement

A biblical prophecy can also be words of encouragement or comfort. Prophetic words can be a confirmation of steps that you need to take or words that comfort you in your time of need.

Responding to a Biblical Prophecy that Comforts

Because biblical prophecy is intended to reveal God’s agenda and plans, you will find comfort in His revealed plans knowing you are in alignment with His will. The response should be a shout of praise!

There are many ways to respond in praise, from lifting a prayer to making an offering. However, the bottom line is this: God wants all of your worship, all of your praise, and to speak Holy Spirit inspired biblical prophecy into all of your life. 

“Jesus replied: ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”’”—Matthew 22:37

Desiring the Spiritual Gift of Biblical Prophecy

Pray for Insight about Biblical Prophecy

If you are reading this, it is by no mistake. God wants to use you in a particular way for His glory. Sit down with the Lord and ask Him to “guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). Ask the Spirit to teach and instruct you about the gift of biblical prophecy. It is a wonderful gift that the Spirit wants to activate within Believers for building His Kingdom and strengthening each other.  

  • “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”—Psalm 32:8

Pray for the Gift of Biblical Prophecy

Paul writes to the Corinthians, encouraging them to desire the spiritual gift of prophecy. If receiving this gift is in alignment with what God wants to give us, and it is according to 1 Corinthians 14:1, then we need to pray boldly, asking God to release it into our lives. 

Now, it is important to ask with an understanding of what James says…

  • “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”—James 4:3

We need to boldly ask with the heart motive to use it for God’s glory and under His inspiration, not our own. If you are struggling with this heart motive, ask for prayer from a trusted brother or sister in Christ who understands the gift of prophecy.

Ask for prayer in obedience to James 5:16…

  • “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Pray for the Protection of Biblical Prophecy

One way the enemy tries to block a biblical prophecy from coming to pass is with the spirit of doubt. Doubt can come from the giver or the recipient of the word. Understand that if the prophetic word came from the Holy Spirit, then it will come to pass. 

It might not come to pass based on our timetable, but it will on God’s.

  • “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”—James 1:6

In Summary

Biblical prophecy is a word released to Believers that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

Biblical prophecy can be a word of warning. This word should get our attention and urge us to begin praying for the assignment of the enemy to be canceled. After praying for the evil assignment to be cut off, we can come into agreement with God’s promises of protection and safety.

Biblical prophecy can be a word of encouragement or comfort. This word confirms that God is with us, guiding us into truth. We can respond to these words with praises of thanksgiving. 

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