Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gracious prophets

Today at the Life in the Spirit Conference, I heard a very interesting practical teaching on the gift of prophecy from Dave Campbell, who is part of the leadership of the Elim Pentecostal Church in the UK.

I'm not going to summarise the whole messsage here, because I couldn't write fast enough; but I did pick up a few great quotes about prophecy. In particular, it came across that the prophet is not some kind of herald of God's judgement, but a bringer of edification, exhortation and comfort. I don't know about you, but on several occassions, I have heard prophecies that have made me cringe, been presented agressively, brought condemnation and guilt. Dave Campbell today was seeking to address this tendency.

"Prophecy is taking what is on God's heart for an individual and sharing in with their heart."

"Prophecy is not your thoughts, but His thoughts."

"Prophetic words bring truth. But truth is more than facts. Jesus said 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.' So if you cannot speak truth in a way that brings edification and sets free, don't speak. Prophecy is not the ultimate retribution tool, but the ultimate rescue tool. It is not just the word of the Lord but the heart of the Lord."

"We're told the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. So if you don't speak, it won't come out."

"Only prophecy what God says. We are to communicate what God is saying. So articulate in such a way as a child can understand."

"The Church is the bride of Christ. Please be careful how you speak to His wife."
Jesus loves His church and gave Himself for her. The Father rejoices over us with singing. The Spirit is our Comforter. Prophecy is not a tool to beat up the church, but to build up the church and pour the oil of God's blessing upon her.


Dan Bowen said...

"The Church is the bride of Christ. Please be careful how you speak to His wife."

That's such an utterly sobering word to any of us who speak to the Church. It's not just apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who carry the burden of responsibility (although it is mainly theirs). Even us bloggers must consider our audience! We are speaking and writing and sharing with the Church - the wife, the Bride of Christ!

And one day we are going to have to give account as to why we put law and heavy burdens on the wife of Jesus Christ (if we did). And that is one discussion I would not be keen on facing. I wonder how the discussion would go for people who wrote such things as "Modesty Checklists" ...

Unknown said...

Just makes me ask: do I love the church enough?

jul said...

Really helpful. The point about speaking only what God's saying is so good, it's so easy to want to try to explain or elaborate on what God's saying, and we usually end up detracting from or distorting what he's really trying to say. I've heard a lot of words that were very good and the person obviously has a strong prophetic gift but they go on to nullify the word they've just given by adding judgement/law, conditions as it were, to the word and end up not building people's faith the way God intended...

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