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Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 New testament prophesy?

We see in paul's writings and the epistles, encouragment to be used in prophetic utterences.my questions are
1, what is it,
2, how is it outworked in the church
3, how is it outworked in meetings
4, what does scripture tell us of our use of it.

Can we decide to prophesy at will one to another, to build up each other,is this correct?
Is the gift personal or corporate or both or neither.
:-)


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derek Eyre

 2004/9/10 18:33Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: New testament prophesy?

Quote:
We see in paul's writings and the epistles, encouragment to be used in prophetic utterences.my questions are
1, what is it,
2, how is it outworked in the church
3, how is it outworked in meetings
4, what does scripture tell us of our use of it.

Hi Delboy,

There are considerable debates concerning this issue. I'll just state my views, which are open to corrections by others.

It seems to me that "prophecy" in the sense of [i]predictive[/i] utterances is not the primary meaning in the OT. "Prophets," in my view, are God's spokepersons who utter a timely word from God to his people in light of their current, specific situations. The concern is more present than future. It is in this sense that Tozer was considered a prophet of the 20th century.

1 Cor. 14 would be the primary biblical text on this issue. In my own church tradition, prophesying is both spontaneous and orderly. There is a time when any one who "felt led by God" could stand up and speak to edifying the church, one after another. However, spontaneity does not mean chaos. The leading ones will sought to conduct the meeting in an orderly fashion.

In practice, I think we have to be careful because whenever the floor is open to everyone, the human tendency is to take the opportunity to express our own opinion, complaints, and many other harsh words. Things can easily get out of control... words from my own experience. :)


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Sam

 2004/9/14 11:24Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
1 Cor. 14 would be the primary biblical text on this issue. In my own church tradition, prophesying is both spontaneous and orderly.


Hi Sam
Would your 'church tradition' distinguish between direct inspired utterance and spontaneous exposition of scripture?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/14 11:27Profile
mloaks
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Joined: 2004/5/13
Posts: 129
So. MD, USA

 Re:

Philo, can you also further elaborate 'between direct inspired utterance and spontaneous exposition of scripture?' Is the latter the prefered in this age?

 2004/9/14 11:35Profile
lwpray
Member



Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 Re:



Just a small story from a prayer meeting:
We were introducing a prayer subject related to the European Union and a gathering of the PM’s on the nations involved in a nearby city.
We had been invited to do so.
For some untold reason the pastor in the church in which the prayer gathering were held got “cold feet”. When I had presented the prayer subject this pastor began to speak in tongues and interpreted it to say:
“Thus says the Lord, Widerberg shall keep quiet.”
No more intercession during that gathering.
Misuse of the “Gift of prophesy”.
The story is hilarious – the spiritual function of that church is miserable.
Lars


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/14 11:36Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re:

good question Ron,I'll wait for Sam's reply.
thanks Sam.
I'm reading Wayne Grudems The gift of prophecy ISBN 58134-243-8 it's helpfull
onwards! :-)


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derek Eyre

 2004/9/14 11:36Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Philo, can you also further elaborate 'between direct inspired utterance and spontaneous exposition of scripture?' Is the latter the prefered in this age?


Hi mloaks
It was a 'loaded question' in that I know some groups who say New Testament prophecy is now fulfilled in the God's spokesman, the preacher/teacher. So there are some who, when they say prophecy, would not distinguish that in any way from preaching. Agent001 has the word 'spontaneous' which makes me think his 'church tradition' does see a distinction, but I wanted him to answer so that we are clear in this discussion as to what we are really talking about.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/14 11:49Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
The story is hilarious – the spiritual function of that church is miserable.


I have some stories similar to that. I sometimes say that if I ever write an autobiography I am going to call it 'the deeper into the woods you go, the more nuts you find'. :-P


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/14 11:52Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Philologos,

In our current practice, we do have a sermon on the Lord's Day where the Word is expounded to edify the Church.

Usually on an evening during the week, we gather together in small groups for a time of bible study and fellowship. By "spontaneity," I mean the flexibility in these meetings whereby all members follow the lead of the Spirit to exercise their gifts in order to build up the Body. Prophesying, in this context, would be sharing what we have learned and experienced during the week when God's [i]written[/i] Word was enlivened and made relevant in our daily living.

I think this would rule out "directly inspired utterances," especially in the sense of some extrabiblical knowledge that carries divine authority. God can certainly miraculously reveal some specific and special knowledge to someone in rare circumstances, but this should be received with much discernment, and should [i]never[/i] receive an elevated status. I believe God's usual means today is to speak through the written Word and make it relevant to our lives through the Spirit (i.e. "illumination"). I am generally skeptical about people who make predictive prophecies or authoritative "new revelations".

I hope this clarifies my position.

P.S. I think prophesying often takes the form of preaching. But is preaching always prophesying? Perhaps not necessarily? I think prophesying is a [i]timely[/i] appropriation of God's [i]timeless[/i] truth in light of the present condition of the church. Ideally preaching should always do that, but there are occasions where the emphasis is on teaching.


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Sam

 2004/9/15 12:31Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I think prophesying often takes the form of preaching. But is preaching always prophesying? Perhaps not necessarily? I think prophesying is a timely appropriation of God's timeless truth in light of the present condition of the church. Ideally preaching should always do that, but there are occasions where the emphasis is on teaching.


I think the term 'revelation' could cover both the unveiling of aspects of scripture from the text and an awareness that the speaker has that he is hearing what God is thinking.

I think it is better to keep a clear distinction between the terms 'teach' 'preach' 'prophesy'. You are right, I think, when you suggest that it may not always be possible to separate the different operations. If they were kept in watertight compartments the labels would be 'doctrine' 'proclamation' and 'prophecy'. These are not synonymous terms.

An exercise of prophesy is a revelation of the mind of God for that specific time. It may relate to the past, the present or even the future. I would never put either 'doctrine' 'proclamation' or 'prophecy' on a level with the scriptures. In that sense I would receive each of these with an open heart and an alert mind, knowing that if they are from the Spirit who inspired the scripture they will never be contrary to that revelation.

I understand your skepticism regarding predictive prophecies and, I would add, directive prophecy. New revelation can only be the result of God giving light on the scripture in the sense of the counsel given to the Pilgrim Fathers as they set sail from Holland I charge you before God and His blessed angels to follow me no farther than I have followed Christ. If God should reveal anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth of my ministry; for I am very confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy word."--

see full quotation here


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/15 15:43Profile





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