Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Levels of Prophecy by Bob Mumford.

Bob Mumford wrote this in January 1977.

"For several years, there has been a growing interest in New Testament prophecy which has naturally been accompanied by a need for practical teaching on how it functions. My experience has shown that God truly desires to use His people in prophecy if they will just get a firm grasp of what prophecy is and how it operates. To obtain such an understanding of this gift of the Spirit, let us begin by looking at 1 Corinthians 12:4-10.

Prophecy, the third of the speaking gifts is more than just inspired preaching or the forthtelling of events - it is the supernatural speaking forth of the Word of God in the language of the speaker and his hearers. We know that prophecy is one way God speaks His word and reveals His will to the Church, but what does this entail and whom does He use?

Well if we were to look at the Greek word translated "prophecy" we would discover that it means "To speak on behalf of another". So the person who prophesies does so with the conviction that he is speaking on behalf of God. This is confirmed by the Apostle Peter's words in Scripture when he exhorts us to speak as "oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:10, 11). An oracle is a mouthpiece just like a lawyer is the mouthpiece of his client. The one who speaks as the oracle of God - the person who prophesies - serves as the mouthpiece of the Lord.

In a very real sense that's how the Body of Christ always functions. God has no hands to lay on people but ours and no lips to speak through but ours. The point we are making here is that God is seeking those who are willing to be His mouthpiece ... and very simply we are the people and our voices are the instruments He wants to use. One other thing - we needn't feel inadequate for this task, for we can be sure that, when we speak as the mouthpiece of God, His power and authority back up what we say.

Since God wants us to be His spokesmen, prophecy should be the most commonly exercised gift in the Body. 1 Corinthians 14:31 says, " ... ye all may prophesy that all may learn and all may be comforted". Everyone is able to prophesy under God and He wants each of us to learn how to properly minister the gift at that right time.

3 Levels of Prophecy.

1. The first level is when a spirit of prophecy falls on a meeting and anyone can prophesy.

The time when prophecy functions easiest is when your fellowship is worshipping and a spirit of prophecy enters the meeting. As the Spirit of the Lord moves in after the singing, just get quiet in your spirit and wait on the Lord. When the spirit of prophecy moves in, say, "Lord Jesus I sure would like to get in on that - won't you let me partcipate too?".

Whenever that happns, you have an opportunity to begin to prophesy in this realm as a sort of "Spiritual general practioner". Don't complicate things and get all hung up because God starts off by giving you short little words of exhortation, words of comfort that He has mde real to you.

2. The second level of prophecy is the gift of prophecy.

The person who operates at this level is more of a "Specialist" than the one who prophesies uner a spirit of prophecy. The gift of prophecy is more accurate, more mature, and more consistent that the spirit of prophecy. In most places, prophecy is often the least-used gift. Part of the reason for this is that many people fail to speak out when God gives them a word for the Body.

Don't try to prophesy out of an empty heart. To prevent going to a meeting in that condition, spend time alone with the Lord before you go. Get in your prayer closet and pray in tongues until you know your communion with the Lord is unhindered. Then when you get to the meeting you can prophesy and encourage all the weak saints. Don't prophesy out of your weakness but rather out of God's strength.

The problem is, most people are afraid to open their mouths. "Oh me prophesy? I couldn't do that! I don't ever want to get into the flesh". The problem with most flesh is that it never says anything. Most people in the flesh have never squeaked, spoken, grunted or prophesied. Don't have that attititude or you'll miss out on God.

3. The third type of prophecy: the office or ministry of the prophet.

This is the person who is God's gift to the Body of Christ for the purpose of divine direction. The gift of prophecy is more limited in scope than the ministry of the prophet. The prophecies that come forth under the spirit of prophecy usually have a lesser anointing than the ones which come from the ministry of a prophet. That is why some people despise the gift of prophecy; they have never heard prophecy come forth from the prophetic ministry. If you ever hear a real prophet anointed of God to speak forth His Word you will find yourself down between the chairs. We need pure powerful prophetic ministry in the Body today!


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