Sunday, July 27, 2008



By Abraham Israel

Some people say that tongues and prophecy is not for now because they say that the Bible says that prophecies will fail and tongues will cease. We should see what the Bible has to say to them?

Those people who mostly reason like this are those who must have been taught not to believe those who speak in tongues and prophecy. Most of these people are prejudiced because they don’t read the Bible like children with an open eager mind to learn the word of God (Luke 10:21; Matt 11:25). So these people must open their Bible and see in 1 Cor 13:8 that it not only speaks about prophecy and tongues, but also it continues to speak about knowledge. It says that knowledge will vanish away. Does that mean that knowledge is not for now and is not needed, that is the reason I said that people are prejudiced when they look through their cluttered mindset.

If we take in context in verse 9 the Bible says that, “ We know in part and prophecy in part.”, that is why even though a mature prophet prophesies, he can only prophecy up to 99.99% exact word of the Lord as His mouth piece. There is always a chance of 0.01% error because it comes through a human vessel which is not 100% perfect but is being made perfect day by day. That is why in the next verse 10 the Bible says, “But when that which is perfect or complete is come [Here Paul is speaking about the perfection of heaven and God Himself who is love (1John 4:8)], then that [prophecies through which we lived by faith in this earth] which is in part will be done away [because we will be in heaven by then].” (1Cor 13:10).

This is why there is always a chance of prophecy failing to come to pass because as long as we live in this imperfect world, as a imperfect human vessel we cannot see and know God perfectly (Exodus 33:18-20). Because God is Love and is perfect, His Love is perfect, which is the being of God Himself who is in Heaven. Love cannot fail because God cannot fail. That is the reason when He is revealed we know that we shall be like Him in everything, He will only be fully revealed when we shall see Him as He is when we go to heaven or in the rapture (1 John 3:2).

The same is true with tongues which will continue as long as we are in this earth, when we go to heaven it will cease (1 Cor 13:8). The moment you enter heaven you don’t need tongues anymore because there will be a common language spoken in heaven. So it will cease because you don’t need tongues to speak to God, man or even angels. Because then I shall know as I also am known (1 Cor 13:12). This is also the reason why acquired knowledge will vanish away because the perfect knowledge of heaven will have come to you by then. So that there will be no need of your limited acquired knowledge of earth.

God and His love now we see dimly, but then in heaven we will see God and His love face to face. If Love is not a person, why does the Bible say we will see Him face to face. Overall if we have all the Gifts that God gives and have not God, it will never profit us anything because first of all we will never make it to heaven with out God. And even in this life we will only live a life of emptiness with out God. So only it is more important to abide in his love than to operate in all the gifts that God has given us to use it for His Glory (1 Cor 13:13). Pursue love (2 Tim 2:22). Walk in love (Eph 5:2).

To use the gift with out having intimacy with the giver is a sign of childishness, So put away this childishness (1 Cor 13:11). A mature man will not only be thankful and develop friendship with the giver, but will value the giver more than the gift because he knows that He is the source. Love is the greatest of faith, hope and love because Love is the person of God Himself, not just one of His attributes.

What importance did prophecy as a gift was in the early church and in the life of Apostle Paul who wrote nearly one third of the whole of New Testament?

Some people who down-play the importance of prophecy should turn to the Bible and must learn from the Bible the importance of prophecy in the life of church and a person. These people who say that they don’t believe in prophetic utterance mostly must have never ever encountered God in the prophetic realm (or) even after seeing the works of God must have been bound by their tradition, which have made the word of God powerless in their life because of their unbelief (Mark 7:13).

Even Apostle Paul was living a zealous religious life downplaying all that the church stood for in his times
(1 Tim 1:13). But even in his unbelief he was seeking God honestly, that is the reason God met Paul’s heart cry (Acts 9:1-9; 1 Tim 1:13). His was a life that began with a prophetic encounter with God and a prophetic disciple named Ananias (Acts 9:6, 17)
. Here when Paul met Jesus, Jesus did not reveal His plan for Paul’s life directly, but He directed him to the city, so that he can kick-start his ministry life through the solid prophetic words which will be given to him. Such is the importance of prophetic word in the sight of Jesus that he not only sent Ananias to release the prophetic word, but at the other end as Saul was earnestly seeking God for further revelation, God showed in a vision about a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him and Paul getting healed.

Jesus revealed it to Paul so that he can believingly receive the prophetic word and encounter. Seeking God earnestly and receiving the word of prophecy with faith are the most essential way for prophecy to take root in one’s life. When we are honest seekers, this is the way God will conform the prophetic word even before you receive it
(Acts 9:17). From the word of God expounded above we can clearly see that Paul’s very conversion and ministry life was started or built up based on the prophetic encounters and prophetic words. We should note that once he received the prophetic word with faith immediately the anointing to preach the word got stirred up in his being and he started preaching straightaway (Acts 9:17-18, 20-22)
. This is what can happen to anybody, if only they will receive any genuine prophetic word with faith. It will immediately activate the gift which is hidden in them.

If prophecies are not very essential for establishing a strong church why does Paul say in
1 Cor 14:3-5, “…he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men….he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues for [personal edification], but even more that you prophesied [because the church will be edified]….”
In our present times most of the churches are weak and powerless because of the lack of prophetic edification unlike the 1st century churches. Paul in the above verse went even to the point of wishing or desiring and dreaming of more prophetic people to edify the church, even though the Corinthian church were abounding and flowing in gifts more than all the other churches without understanding the purpose of each gifts.

If we ask the question why Apostle Paul was so desirous of the prophetic flow of the Spirit in the Church, it is because the prophetic teaching will bring the mind of Christ to be directly revealed to the church in the now realm, which is the faith realm
(1 Cor 2:10-16; Rom 12:6). Prophecy causes the mind of Christ to be manifested collectively to the church. On the other hand, praying in tongues causes the mind of Christ to be manifested in you individually. For the Holy Spirit will begin to take the mysteries you’ve been praying before the throne of God and communicates them back to you by revelation. That’s why you edify yourself when you pray in tongues! (1 Cor 14:2). Unless a person grows in self-edification continuously, he will not be able to edify the church collectively. That’s why a person who leads the church can take the church only as far as he himself has grown (1 Cor 14:18).

Paul literally spoke in tongues more than all the Corinthian church members personally, that is why he taught prophetically with great edification and authority collectively (1 Cor 14:18-19; 9:1-2; 4:17). Paul started as a preacher and as he went deeper and deeper in to the prophetic scriptural revelation, he became a cutting-edge prophetic teacher (Rom 16:25-26; Acts 13:1; Galatians 1:11-12).

When the prophets come to a church that is thirsting after the Prophetic Dimension, impartation happens instantly in to the church to make it a prophetic church
(Acts 11:27-28; 13:1-2). The prophetic aspect in a church collectively or individually will manifest only if everybody will desire after it intently like Apostle Paul did with his whole heart (1 Cor 14:39)

Paul himself was not only a teacher but also a prophet, that is why he laid his hands over Timothy and gave him personal prophecy concerning the gifts that he had and about his future ministry and ordained him along with the other prophetic elders. He instructed Timothy to wage the good warfare by faith and good conscience, according to the prophecies made concerning him previously. He also instructed him to stir up the gift of God
[i.e. The Holy Spirit] which was in him, given through the laying on of Paul’s hands (1 Tim 1:18-19; 4:14-16; 2 Tim 1:6)

If prophecy is not so important as some people say these days, why should Apostle Paul instruct his spiritual son whom he loved so much to wage a good warfare through the prophecies given to him, and in turn stir up the gift of God which was in him given through him and a team of prophetic elders, while he wrote to Timothy in his personal heart to heart apostolic letter
(1 Tim 1:2, 18-19; 2 Tim 1:2, 6; 4:6-8)

From the above clear and accurate exposition we should understand that not only the destiny of individuals but also destiny of churches depends on the effective warfare that the man of God wages for his life and for his church
(1 Cor 11:28; Eph 1:15-18). That is why we need the church to be more prophetic in order to be effective!


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