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UNDERSTANDING PROPHECY FOR YOU AND FOR THIS GENERATION
(Group or Personal Bible Study)

By Cynthia Murray

What is prophecy and what is its purpose?                       
Prophecy is God speaking to men.  

In what form did prophecy come in the Bible?

1.     God speaking directly to man about the future. – God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 15:2-5.  “As numerous as the stars, so shall thy seed be.”

2.     Prophets (or representatives who speak for God) speaking directly to man. – God told Isaiah to speak to King Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:1-5) to tell him he would extend his life.  In Isaiah 53 the prophet of God prophesies about the Messiah!

3.     Prophetic dreams to men and women of God.  God used dreams to speak to Joseph about his being a savior of his family and Israel.  Genesis 37:5-11

4.     Prophetic dreams to unbelievers.  Daniel 2:1-3, 26-29

Is prophecy always “good news”?  No!  Sometimes God has to bring correction or warning, but the primary purpose of prophecy is:

1 Corinthians 14:3 - But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Words of knowledge that are not seemingly positive are used to get someone’s attention about the issue and should be followed by prophecy to guide them as well as prayers for deliverance from the situation.  This type of word is often given privately so as not to embarrass the individual.  Use discretion and be led by the Holy Spirit.

Does God still communicate prophetically today? Yes!

Amos 3:7 - Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Does God still speak through prophets today?  Yes!

Joel 2:28-32 - And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…

Personal Question: How did you first realize that you were a prophet or had the ability to prophesy?

What is the difference between a prophet and those who prophesy?  God has said in his word that in the last days he will pour out his spirit upon all flesh.  Everyone can prophesy to individuals according to the gift that God has given them, but not everyone stands in the office of the prophet referenced in Ephesians 4:11 in which it outlines the five-fold ministry.  These officers' responsibility/purpose is for the edifying of the entire body of Christ for its maturity in Christ.

Do we have to be careful about false prophets?  Yes!

2 Peter 2:1-22 - But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  Remember that prophetic words must always line up with the written word or God, or else they are false.  God never contradicts himself.  

Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves

Mt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Group Question: How can we recognize false prophets?  Just because you are a prophet, does that mean that you are infallible and always get prophecy exactly right?  Doesn’t the Bible say in 1 Corinthians 13:9 that we prophesy in part? 

Do you always understand what God is telling you in the moment for someone?

Personal Question: How do you primarily receive prophetic words from the Lord?  If you still desire to grow in this gift of God for your life and ministry, just ask Him for help and wisdom.  He will surely give it to you for His own glory!  Be encouraged.  You will grow.  I am in agreement with you for this heart's desire concerning accurate prophecy in your life.  Amen!    
      ~dwd 
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