Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

In his final comments on his teaching on spiritual gifts, Paul adds a brief summary: “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39).

‘Covet’ is an old English word usually used in the negative: “covet not another man’s wife“. ‘Covet’ means to earnestly desire and can also have a positive passion behind it. We are to covet (earnestly desire) to prophesy. Of all the spiritual gifts that may function through us, nothing is more valuable than prophecy, because it is speaking God’s revelation in words others can benefit from.

If others are to covet prophecy, we all should covet to hear words of prophecy. I challenge you to find a small prayer group where God’s prophetic words are often spoken. They will give you life.

I love this last challenge: “Forbid not to speak with tongues.” How much more clear can the Bible be? When I was a new believer, speaking in tongues was absolutely taboo in nearly any church. Today that has changed. Mainline denominations are now embracing speaking with tongues as a legitimate spiritual gift, but not everyone has it. But the Bible clearly forbids the banning of the gift.

If you have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, I encourage you to not be ignorant. Seek and you shall find.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

As the Apostle Paul is wrapping up his commentary on spiritual gifts, he qualifies his audience: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

When Paul advised the Corinthians earlier regarding marriage and divorce (1 Corinthians 7), he noted that some of the things he was saying were from the Lord, and some of them were his own experienced opinion. We must, like Paul, recognize that some of our opinions and thoughts are of our own preferences and cultural background, while others are straight from the Bible. We should never say “thus saith the Lord” just because that’s the way we think it should be. Prophecy is not a game of coercion.

Paul is speaking here to spiritual people who minister with spiritual gifts. He tells them to consider the advice he has just been giving in 1 Corinthians 12-14 to be prophetic and from God for His church. Carnal (worldly) people just do what feels right with spiritual gifts. But spiritual people exercise spiritual gifts with great fear and reverence for the gift-giver. This is Paul’s final answer on the topic of spiritual gifts.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Paul had just said that we should be patient with one another and let others speak words of prophecy. Then he adds, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32).

In other words, prophets should be in control of their gift. There is a time to share your words and a time to shut up. I often feel God is impressing me to say words to someone, and I say to the Lord, “Lord, if this is what You are saying, confirm it by…”. If God opens the door, I know its Him; if God closes the door, I know it was just me, or I know the timing isn’t right.

Once, I felt God had revealed a word of knowledge from Himself to the church during the worship service. I contemplated stepping up after that song and sharing it. As the senior pastor, I can do that. However, there wasn’t a convenient opportunity in the flow of worship to do that, so I waited.

As I had invited people to the altar following my message, the lord brought to my mind that word of knowledge. I knew then it was for someone who had responded to the altar, and not those who did not. I had to learn to be patient and wait upon God.

If you have a Word from God, he’ll open the door for you. Wait.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

In continuing his teaching on rules for order with spiritual gifts in the assembly of the saints, Paul comments on one person being quiet and letting another speak what has been revealed to them (v. 30): “For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted” (1 Corinthians 14:31).

Messages in tongues were limited to two or at the most three per meeting, and must be interpreted ( v. 27). Likewise, prophecy was limited to two or three per meeting, and to be judged (v. 29). But, here Paul says that “you may all prophesy“, which looks like a contradiction.

The difference is, in verse 31 Paul is not giving restraining limitations to prophecy, but releasing us to ministry. Any one of us may prophesy, as the Lord speaks to our hearts. Prophecy isn’t limited to a few prophets with influence. Every one of us believers has the potential to speak what God has revealed to us to teach and comfort others. The limitation has to do with the assembly of the saints, so other things can be accomplished, as well. But when it comes to personal ministry, there is no limitation.

I think some of the best ministry at New Hope takes place in the aisles and hallways as people gather with their friends and share what God is doing in their lives, sharing their pain and disappointments. That is when every individual has an opportunity to speak what God has taught us to someone else.

The Holy Spirit has the contract to build the Lord’s church. But you and I are the contractors. Let’s go to work.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge” (1 Corinthians 14:29).

Having just given advice for the use of tongues in a public meeting, Paul now progresses to prophecy in public meetings. Remember, prophecy is equal to messages in tongues with interpretation, so similar rules apply: only two or three at a public meeting. Much of chapter 14 has been dedicated to explaining the differences between tongues and prophecy, but both are spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:10), and supernatural in origin. They are both God speaking to His people.

Often I find myself saying something unintended in my sermons that is likely prophetic in nature, and I can’t take the credit. That’s the way spiritual gifts operate. You won’t find them in churches that don’t recognize or seek spiritual gifts, and they can’t be planned in advance. We can pray for them, and they can operate in a pastor’s private study as he/she prepares for a message.

Note also that Paul says, after the prophets speak, that the others should judge. In the first year of my experience with the Holy Spirit, I was invited to go with my pastor who spoke at a Pentecostal church in Harlan. I was a novice but eager to learn. The pastor who invited me was speaking on the topic, ‘How to Judge Prophecy’. When the Harlan pastor introduced him to the church he mentioned the topic and said, “If prophecy is a word from God, I don’t know how can we judge it”. He was seriously challenging the concept of judging a prophecy.

If we don’t judge words of prophecy when they come our way, we will be most gullible. Prophecy will always confirm something that God has already been saying to us. If a prophet tells us to leave our spouses and become hermits, should we judge that? Not everyone has the maturity to discern what God is saying.

But, if a prophet/prophetess shares a word that confirms what God has already said, how fulfilling is that!?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts, Uncategorized

The Apostle Paul had just said that if, in an assembly of the saints, all speak in tongues, will not an unbeliever present think you are all crazy. He continues to explain himself: “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25).

Prophecy, on the other hand, is when we speak out in a common language what God has revealed to us. If many then speak out spiritual revelation (1 Corinthians 12:8-10), it will surely connect with someone’s deepest, hidden need. That’s what real prophecy does. I receive more praise for words I’ve spoken “by accident” than what I’ve prepared. And I can’t take credit for what the Lord says through me.

Did you notice the excitement in Pastor Stine this weekend when he referred to Elder Jim Otis’s comments during the Communion meditation Jim led? Jim had no idea he was confirming for Pastor Stine the word he had prepared to share. It brought life to Pastor Stine. That’s the kind of “coincidence” that spiritual gifts bring.

And this doesn’t just happen for believers, it happens in the presence of unbelievers, as well, opening their hearts to the gospel. The end result of opening spiritual gifts is that the unbeliever will fall “down on his face and will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth“.

That’s ministering in power. Let’s fill our private time in prayer in the Spirit, and our public time together with spiritual ministry that breaks through “accidentally”.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe” (1 Corinthians 14:22).

The seldom used word ‘wherefore’ refers to the cause or the reason for something. He makes two opposite statements in this verse:

1) ‘“Tongues are…a sign…to them that believe not“. In this case Paul is setting up the scenario for what he is about to say next. He is referring not to your personal prayer language, but a message in tongues, with interpretation, before a group of others, including those who believe not. Although it was clear in Paul’s mind, it may be confusing to those who are just learning about spiritual gifts. There is a distinction between speaking in tongues as your personal prayer language (which needs no interpretation and should be kept to oneself) and a message in tongues within the assembly of the saints, which requires interpretation. In the next few verses Paul describes how a message in tongues with interpretation influences unbelievers.

2) “Prophesying serves…them which believe“. Prophesying is speaking what God has revealed to others so we can instruct them in the ways of God. We learned earlier that a message in tongues with interpretation equals prophecy. But prophecy is always done in the language of the people, otherwise no one can understand the message.

A “sign” simply is something that indicates something else. Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). These are indications of the indwelling Holy Spirit at work in the heart of the believer.

In the next 17 verses Paul lays out some ground rules for the ministry of spiritual gifts in the assembly of the saints. As we go through them I’d like to hear your experience with each of these rules.

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