You can all Prophesy One by One
- April 04, 2018
- Taber Cheo
“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” – 1Corinthians 14:31
Jesus Christ did not die to get us into heaven. He died and resurrected for heaven to be in us before the Day of His return when all things will be restored. Jesus tells us that signs and wonders would accompany those who believe (Mark16:17). This is only possible if we believe in His promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Now, the Holy Spirit, Himself, is the spiritual gift that contains all the gifts, services, and activities listed in 1Corinthians 12 to 14. Many have abused these gifts and sought their own gain versus walking in love. Others while witnessing the abuse, have chosen to deny the workings of Holy Spirit (even to the point of calling them the work of demons) in order to protect themselves from this abuse. The hope of this article is for all to be encouraged to seek truth with an open heart; allowing the scriptures to interpret themselves.
In regard to the spiritual gifts, there are many listed in 1Corinthians 12 to 14, yet there is one gift that was especially mentioned by apostle Paul. “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (1Corinthians 14:1). Paul addressed many things to the Corinthian church as they were living wrongfully in many ways. Things such as quarreling divisions (Chapter 1), sexual immorality (Chapter 6 – 7), and selfish ambition (Chapter 8), yet one of the most critical was their pursuit of the gifts rather than God’s love (Chapter 14). This is why Paul shifts their pursuit to love, as there is no value without it, while specifically directing their desires towards prophecy. Keep in mind, he did not simply ask them of this, he commanded it.
What then is the point of prophecy, if it is important enough for Paul to mention in such regard above all the other gifts? “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (1Corinthians 14:3). Although he was ministering the truth about upholding love among the Corinthians, this foundational principle speaks to the body of Christ as a whole. To say that prophecy is either done away with or that not everyone can prophesy would be to say that encouragement is done away with or that not everyone can encourage. But this is not so, Paul’s invitation and command remains as an eager one, “Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy” (1Corinthinas 14:). For the One who spoke life since the beginning must also speak life through us who bare His image.
Now, since we know that all prophecy is encouraging, upbuilding, and consoling, we know that anything opposite is not a prophetic word. “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said” (1Corinthians 14:29). If any word is given that is discouraging, condemning, or unhelpful, it is the responsibility of the one hearing to know that it is NOT a word of God. For God is a god of encouragement. “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5). This is how we are to weigh the words of anyone speaking a prophetic word; by knowing who God is and what He says. If any words do not align with the gospel of Christ, they are not the truth. This is called discernment.
But in order to know that all can prophesy, we must know it’s meaning. The term Prophecy in the greek is prophēteía: the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth (Stong’s Concordance 4394). It’s a term that involves both forthtelling (asserting the mind of God) AND foretelling (prediction). In other words, to prophesy is to say what God is saying. Whether it’s His simple thought towards someone/something, or foretelling future events, it’s all prophecy. Now, the bible says the thoughts of God are more than the grain of sand (Psalm 139:18). It also says that we have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16). Therefore, as believers, we know with confidence, having access to His thoughts, that we all can prophecy (say what God is saying); indeed, we MUST.
But does this mean we can know all details about everything at all times? Of course not, but we can pray to know more. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away” (1Corinthians 13:9,10). Until He who is the fullness comes, the things we know now are only a shadow of the things to come. All we have to do is ask, and He will tell us. “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31).
Simple practice: Tell someone, “Jesus loves you and He’s coming back.”
Congratulations! You just prophesied. Now continue to ask God more of His thoughts and listen to Him tell you things supernaturally.
Practical Questions: God, how do You want to encourage this person today? What are You saying about this situation? What do You want, Lord?
NOTE: Be open to anything He may show you. (pictures, scriptures, colors, play on words, memories, etc., God speaks in many ways.)
“So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues” – 1 Corinthians 14:39