by Neil Anderson
The Proper Use Of Prophecy
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God
The Bible says there is only one intermediary between God and man, and that is Jesus. False prophets and teachers often function like intermediaries. When God sent the prophet Nathan to David, it was for the purpose of bringing conviction in order to establish righteousness. In the church age, bringing conviction is a primary ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The proper use of the gift of prophecy would reveal unrighteousness in order to establish people in Christ. Once people are living righteously with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will lead them. False gifts will not consistently promote holiness but often will specify decisions concerning direction in life. That function is the role of the Holy Spirit alone (Romans 8:14).
Some churches encourage their members, including the immature, to come into the fullness of the Spirit with manifestations. I ask, "Why not the fullness of the truth?" It's the fullness of the truth the Holy Spirit has promised to lead us into. I'm deeply concerned for young converts in ministries that push for them to seek total manifestations of the Spirit. Many have not had the time to understand the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets. The church at Corinth had similar problems. They were exhorted by Paul to get back to the basics of faith
, hope and love, and govern very closely the use of tongues and prophecies in public worship because God does everything decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).
A pastor received a letter from a former staff member who was dismissed for moral reasons. The letter contained a prophecy for the pastor's church. I asked, "Why would God give a prophecy for your church through this man?" I suggested that they shouldn't even read it since it would function like a curse. Everything that happened in the church would be evaluated by the prophecy (either to substantiate it or invalidate it).
If a person or church is earnestly seeking the Lord, God will work through the lines of authority He has established in His Word.
Prayer: Father, protect me from false teaching and guide me into all truth by Your Spirit.
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