Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The purpose of prophecy

John Wimber, who founded and led the Vineyard Movement until his death, said this: “Prophecy is declaring the message of God to His church for the purpose of edification”.

David Watson, who was a famous Anglican leader in the UK, defined it like this: “Whilst the written word is God’s truth for all people at all times the prophetic word is a particular word inspired by God given to a particular person or a group or persons at a particular moment for a particular purpose”.

I like that quote because it states right up front that we’re not looking to add anything to the Bible, which is God’s inspired written word. What the prophetic word does when it comes is to bring alive an aspect on which God has already spoken.

Over the years I have had moments when I have had the privilege of bringing a prophetic word over someone or I have received a prophetic word where God has spoken to me. These needed to be weighed and tested.

While we see in 1 Corinthians 14 that prophecy is for strengthening, for encouragement and for comfort, sometimes it will be directional. In Acts 16 the apostle Paul is seeking direction. He was planning to go to Ephesus and then has a vision in the night about going to Macedonia. As a result the gospel first comes to Europe because of a prophetic vision! Paul shares the vision with his team and they all agree that God is telling them to go to Macedonia… and off they go.

To be continued...