ONLINE Sunday Service (M915) | Mount Zion Church | 17 May 2020 | THE PROPHETIC CHURCH | 1Corinthians 14:24-25
Everyone loves to have a gift. Do you realise that God want to give lots of gift for His people? It is called the spiritual gifts. Paul mentioned 9 different spiritual gifts 1Cor.12:8-10.
- The word of wisdom
- The word of knowledge
- Gifts of healings
- The working of miracles
- Discerning of spirits
- Different kinds of tongues
- The interpretation of tongues
God give so many spiritual gifts so that believers may be rich spiritually and grow speedily toward Christ. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. The spiritual gifts are the manifestation of the Spirit that given to each one for the profit of all 1Cor.12:4,7. One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills 1Cor.12:11. One of the spiritual gifts that we want to learn now is the gift of prophecy.
24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you. 1Corinthians 14:24-25 NKJV
There is must be something very important with prophecy so that Paul wished that the church all spoke with tongues, but even more that the church prophesied 1Cor.14:5. Paul urged the church at Corinth to desire earnestly to prophesy while we must not forbid someone to speak with tongues 1Cor.14:39. He who speaks in tongue will edify himself, prophecy will edify the church. Paul encourage all people in the church to prophesy!
WHAT IS PROPHECY?
The gift of prophecy is not only about telling something that will happen in the future. That is a common dictionary explanation but not the Biblical explanation! The first mention about prophet was found in the book of Genesis. God called Abraham as prophet and he shall pray for Abimelech Gen.20:7. Prophet means spokesman, speaker of God. Prophet is someone who God want to use to pray for other people!
In the days of David, he set in order some of the Levites who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. They prophesied according to the order of the king. They prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the Lord 1Chr.25:1-3. These group of people was not called as the prophets, but they were doing the work of prophecy because they gave their life to be the speaker of God, they sang, they praised, and they worshipped God. God may speak through you as you open your mouth to praise and worship God.
For the early church, Paul explained like this: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men 1Cor.14:3.” Those who prophecy will convince someone and convict someone 1Cor.14:24.
So, what is the gift of prophecy for the church right now, specially in the days of New Testament where Holy Spirit work mightily in the new dimension? That is about speaking to someone—either in conversations, prayer, or through a song—we speak edification, exhortation, and comfort, and as the result that person may be convinced or convicted.
1: EDIFICATION / oikodomē/
The church definitely need edification. Prophecy will help the church to grow! Without edification, the church will stop growing and that will be very dangerous. Edification will bring the church to go UPWARD! The church must always remember that we have a target to grow. What is our target? The body of Christ must grow to the fullness of Christ, we all must grow to be like Jesus!
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV
The opposite of edification is destruction, and it starts from idleness. Prophecy within the church will work as a continual reminder for the church to keep grow. The body of Christ need to always remind each other to grow together. Just like the teacher at school ‘keep annoying’ the student to keep learning for new things.
Back to the days of Nehemiah, the elders of the Jews built again the temple of God and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel Ezr.6:14. Prophecy will definitely build the church!
We can use the pattern of Tabernacle to measure our spiritual growth. We can also use the fruit of the Spirit to measure it. Bible is the perfect tool to measure the growth of our inner man. Let’s grow together, let’s learn to give a good reminder for each other. Please do not hesitate to remind the body of Christ to grow, the church really need that reminder and Holy Spirit may use anyone to prophesy so that the church will keep growing!
2: EXHORTATION / paraklēsis/
The body of Christ need exhortation to go forward in the right track! Without exhortation, the church will stop moving or maybe go to the wrong direction! The original word is also used to explain how Holy Spirit works for believers (Greek: paraklēsis; paraklētos). Holy Spirit is also called as the Helper.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
Holy Spirit will bring the believers into all truth, into all fulness of God’s promise to believers, and Holy Spirit will use anyone in the body of Christ to deliver His messages! That’s why the church need to learn to prophesy, so that everyone in the church will walk toward the same direction. We must help each other! Prophecy will encourage the church to fulfil the will of God. The gift of prophecy will help the church to always be in the right track.
Back to the days of Samuel, the Bible let us know that the prophet also called as the seer. For he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer 1Sam.9:9. The body of Christ need to supervise each other so that all can keep walking in the right track toward the right direction. When David made a big mistake in his life and fell into sin, then the Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to David. Nathan rebuked David very wise yet powerful 2Sam.12:7. That’s how a prophet does their work for God. That is not quite easy things to do but the church really need this. Without good supervise from the body of Christ, the church may end up at wrong place! Let’s exhort one another, let’s learn to give a good exhortation for each other. Please do not hesitate to exhort the body of Christ, the church really need that exhortation and Holy Spirit may use anyone to prophesy so that the church will keep walking in the right track!
3: COMFORT / paramuthia/
The church need comfort to jump out from any trouble. Without comfort, the church will be stuck in sadness. The body of Christ need to open their mouth to comfort one another. The church need to comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all 1Thes.5:14. Paul and his team also exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of Thessalonians, as a father does his own children, that they would walk worthy of God who calls them into His own kingdom and glory 1Th.2:11. The church need to comfort people like Mary and Martha who just lost their beloved brother. There is always a unique problem for each individual and there is always a space for good comfort for someone. Back to the days of King Jehoshaphat, he faced a really big problem because a great multitude of enemy came and ready to war with him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and he spoke comfort for the kingdom of Judah 2Chr.20:15.
The desire of Holy Spirit is to see the body of Christ to be joyful in the spirit and prophecy will comfort the church. Holy Spirit will use anyone within the body of Christ to comfort those in need. Sometime the problem is just like a deep pit and the rescue team may need to carefully go down into that pit and help them jump out from there. We may need to spend our time together, sometimes it takes more than one visit or one phone call to comfort someone, but that’s really worth for the goodness of the body of Christ. Let’s comfort one another, let’s learn to give a good comfort for each other. Please do not hesitate to comfort the body of Christ, the church really need that comfort and Holy Spirit may use anyone to prophesy so that the church will be joyful in midst of any challenges!
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
God is not only speaking through the pastors! While the pastors responsible for the main role to lead the church, God also want to use all the body of Christ to edify, to exhort, and to comfort each other. The prophetic church will experience the mightier work of God because each member of the body of Christ give themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, open their ears to be convinced and to be convicted, and open their mouth, learn to not hesitate to edify, exhort, or comfort each other with good words, so that the newcomers can see that God is truly among the church. The prophetic church is a powerful church as each member of the body of Christ is actively involved to support the church growth in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The gift of prophecy belongs to the Holy Spirit. If we want to experience it so the first step that we must do is abide in Him and be attentive for what Holy Spirit will remind for us. Everything must work in good order. Paul said: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent 1Cor.14:29-30.” The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints 1Cor.14:32-33.
Be brave to start open our mouth to say something. Be brave to start praying for someone and then Holy Spirit will teach us what to say, what to pray, and He will work more by pouring the gift of prophecy. Be brave to open our mouth and start to edify, exhort, or to comfort them.
Be careful. Paul urged the church at Corinth to learn to prophesy, not only some of them, but all of them. He wrote: “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be encouraged 1Cor.14:31.” As a learner, we must remember to always be humble and be gentle. Holy Spirit will remind and teach us for what to say and we can learn how to deliver it wisely. Humility and gentleness are really needed so that everyone maybe blessed.
Let’s learn together so that the church may grow stronger to fulfil its calling in these last days. AMEN.